The Record Collection

Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Max Roach: Streams of Consciousness (1977)

Baystate (Japan) RVJ 6016
Piadrum Records 301

Streams of Conciousness

Track list:

01 – Streams of Consciousness
02 – Inception
03 – Acclamation
04 – Consanguinity


Abdullah Ibrahim – piano;
Max Roach – drums.

Recorded: National Studios, NYC; September 29, 1977.

Producer: Max Roach
Engineer: Jim McCurdy

Liner notes: Max Roach; Phil Schaap.

Abdullah Ibrahim and Max Roach entered the studio in 1977 with no preplanning of any kind, producing a powerful session of duo improvisation, Streams of Consciousness.

Their long opener, the title track, is never dull, even at 21 minutes.

Roach provides unaccompanied segues as Ibrahim repeatedly ducks out and returns with one after another powerful theme (each one complemented beautifully by the drummer), which touch on African chants, gospel-like themes, along with a bit of avant-garde.

“Acclamation” has the feeling of being composed, building to a feverish pitch before ending quietly with Roach’s unaccompanied cymbals.

Roach is initially at the forefront of “Consanguinity,” with Ibrahim inserting brief, choppy chords, though the pianist takes on a much greater role as it progresses, finishing with a wave of tremolo chords.

Sadly, they have yet to record together in the decades following this making of this remarkable recording.

Originally issued by the Japanese label Baystate, it was rather hard to find until Piadrum re-issued this valuable session on CD in 2003.
~ Ken Dryden