[Cover photo credit to Alan Sukoenig]

Pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali (1931-80) was a local Philadelphia player who had an impact on John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner and many others. He rose to prominence in 1965 when The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan was released on Atlantic Records. Alan Sukoenig and saxophonist David Shrier became friends of Hasaan Ibn Ali’s and captured their friend on tape, playing standards and some originals. The best of these tapes are now collected on Retrospect in Retirement of Delay: The Solo Recordings, due out November 19, 2021 from Omnivore Recordings on CD and Digital.

Produced by the team of Sukoenig, Lewis Porter, and Grammy-winner Cheryl Pawelski, the two-CD/Digital set also features restoration and mastering by Grammy-winner Michael Graves, essays by Sukoenig, Porter, and pianist Matthew Shipp, and previously unseen photos taken by Sukoenig. A four-LP vinyl version is also due out in 2022. 

This release marks the first time recordings of the artist playing standards have been made public.

According to co-producer Sukoenig:

“This release by Omnivore is the fulfillment of a 55-year dream. Over the history of jazz, there have been many fine musicians, but far fewer wondrous ones. Hasaan Ibn Ali is in that class. I’ve been listening to these solo improvisations for over half a century. Not only haven’t they paled, the best of them have, if anything, become even more impressive. That’s exceedingly rare for improvised music, created in the moment for the moment. I’m so happy that I can finally share Hasaan’s solo recordings with the world.”

Here’s our track listing for the new collection:

DISC 1 

1. Falling in Love With Love
2. Atlantic Ones (Originally known as “Blue Is”) 

3. Yesterdays

4. Cherokee

5. Body and Soul

6. Off Minor

7. Off My Back Jack

8. They Say It’s Wonderful

9. On Green Dolphin Street 

10. How Deep Is the Ocean 

11. Arabic Song 

DISC 2 

1. True Train (Part 1) 

2. True Train (Part 2) 

3. Lover

4. Sweet and Lovely 

5. Mean to Me 

6. After You’ve Gone

7. It Could Happen to You

8. Untitled Ballad

9. Extemporaneous Prose-Poem 

10. Bésame Mucho