Paul Hanmer - Naivasha
Hanmer is no unknown to the visitors of this website. Chris Man has
already reviewed his previous album "Playola"
and introduced his personality. Listeners of "Smooth Africa"
(Heads Up Records) will be familiar with his music too. Today I want
to direct your attention to his newest work "Naivasha",
which was released on Sheer Sounds in 2000.
comments his newest work: "The
album is a dedication to the people in his life and pays homage to
them in tracks like "Fanfare", dedicated to his wife Angela,
and "Naivasha" about the Lake of the same name in Kenya,
where for Paul, the horn voices of McCoy Mrubata and Marcus Wyatt echo
the exceptional bird-life which congregates around this particular
The Ballad Of
Christinah & William starts
with a slow piano play followed by an acoustic bass. The melody is
presented by McCoy Mrubata's alto sax, surrounded by an orchestral
sound, all well arranged and conducted. This song is timeless and
beautiful. Not smooth jazz in the modern radio-like style but
something what might be reached over from the past to our century.
album was produced in South Africa. You
Must NÍva is a
typical township hit. Louis
Mhlanga plays an energetic wah-wah-guitar and guitar solo
accompanied by a broad horn section.
Gingerly swings Unspoken
soloists on this tune are Paul Hanmer (piano) and Louis Mhlanga on
Uptempoly run Paul
fingers in the lower scales of his piano on the title song, joined by
the horn section with staccato blows and improvisations. Fusion jazz
at its best.
shows Paul Hanmer's classical education and his ability for slight
tones speeding up to a crescendo. This tune demands your attention.
are introducing Raatiep,
an epic piece. This is even for jazz an unusual tune. Listen to it
like a classical transcription of an old Arabian theme.
sounds more familiar to South African ears. Louis Mhlanga 's acoustic
guitar play is unbeatable. This is what most of you me included expect
of an album from South Africa, but Paul Hanmer's style is more complex
Mrubata's tenor sax. He plays a warm tone sometimes strong sometimes
mellow. Paul plays the Steinway Concert Grand piano in the grandeur of
an Italian maestro.
classic and orchestral attitude of horn and string arrangements is
audible on Fanfare
For J. This song
could be the score of a great paramount movie.
The 3 Mafutas
might be Paul Hanmer's final curtain. A solo piano work in a swinging
waltz style with crescendo, pianoforte and soft touchs.
But then ..
the secret 11th piece, not listed on the cover. A romantic piano tune
creeping to you like a black panther.
Listening to this
album, you will recognize that there are more jazz styles as you can
imagine. South Africa has developed its own unique contribution and
Paul Hanmer is without no doubt the figure-head of this evolution.