Gumede - From Me To You
not easy to write about Sipho Gumede's new album "From
Me To You". A simple reason: You just want to dance or to play
listening to his album. I am just sitting in front of my HandSonic and
just accompany the songs with great pleasure. I have already reviewed
his previous album "The Best Of -
Part I" and I am absolutely confident that he'll soon have a
second Best-Of-album. Sipho's music is very hooking and if you love
South African music, you will certainly find it on this album. What
you can await: "The contemporary of KZN fused with the African
heartbeat as old as music itself". Heartbeat means percussion and
melody pure. This isn't sophisticated jazz but joy of living in the
The album starts with Trust
No One. Sipho plays the bass as a melodious instrument. Xoli
Nkosi (piano) and Sifiso Mavuso (synthesizer solo) are accompanying
him. This track is absolutely flabbergasting. A very hooking melody
based on a drum programmed rhythm. If one listens to such positive
music, one is asking: "Why this title?" The answer of a critic:
"Sipho`s a hard man, he's seen all the bad times and now as a
musician he wants to celebrate the good times but he's not convinced
that it's all good now."
Nontuthuzelo is a
dreamy slow tempo piece featuring the gifted Bearney Bophela on
acoustic piano. This piece is named in honor of his daughter.
Down South is the
already mentioned South African flavored music inviting to extensive
dances with its infectious hooks. Remember Paul Simon's "Graceland"
to get an imagination what I mean. That this music is infecting may be
illustrated by Spyro Gyra's "Cape
The title Herdman is
reminding to Sipho's past, when he went to stay on a farm some 30 kms
from Umlazi. After school each day, he'd pass the time watching cattle
practicing on a borrowed guitar.
Emkhumbane is the
name of part of SA in Zulu language. If you are interested to know
more about it, visit http://my.cybersoup.com/vusezakithi/izilimi.html.
The title is obviously chosen to symbolize the closed connectivity
between Sipho's music and his native country. Cato Manor, eMkhumbane,
is where thousands of people were victims of ruthless forced removals
by the apartheid regime. Today a nice place to visit by tourists.
Oops is a further
example that Sipho's music is positive and laid-back. You will not
find a sad song on his album. Sipho plays on this tune his bass more
in higher octaves.
Phumula is featuring
Shaluza Max, singing a ballade in Zulu language. The slow part is
followed by a mid tempo swinging one in the typical South African
style. "Phumula" means good rest.
Thunder Showers is a
propulsive piece with a lot of synthesizers played by Sifiso Mavuso
and Nelson Gumede.
Sithethelele is anew
a slow tempo ballade. It features Shaluza Max on lead vocals. The song
is a prayer appealing to the Creator, to find an answer to the AIDS
virus, for we have tried everything else.
More synthesizer is to listen on Cedara.
Melvin Peters plays a long and breathtaking solo.
Bass and synthesizer are communicating on Afternoon
Breeze. Sipho's bass playing is uplifting and happy minded.
A turn around to a serenade is the title song From
Me To You. Strings soften Sipho's smooth bass play which is
floating in dreamy fields. Before it gets too shallow, percussion and
organ hits are providing ground contact.
I Thought I Knew You Well is
the contemplative finish of an interesting album.
Sheer Sound is a label of passionate people and
Sipho Gumede is one of their leading artist. We can be jealous about
such a richness of great artists united on this South African roster.