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Sathima Bea Benjamin’s A Morning in Paris Available for Download

South African jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin turned 71 last Wednesday, and to celebrate, fans can now download her out-of-print, Duke Ellington-produced 1963 album, A Morning in Paris, online through iTunes and other vendors.

Benjamin, who celebrated her 71st birthday with a performance at New York’s Sweet Rhythm Jazz Club on Wednesday, recorded A Morning in Paris with pianists Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim), her husband. Although the recordings were thought to be lost, A Morning in Paris resurfaced in 1996 when author David Hajdu was given a copy of the session that was secretly made by a recording engineer.

Since then, the Grammy-nominated Benjamin has continued recording and was recognized in 2004 by South African president Thabo Mbeki for her work in jazz and against apartheid.

For those who would like to own a hard copy of A Morning in Paris, the album will be distributed exclusively through City Hall Records and will be available in stores January 22, 2008.

Originally Published