Africa - Exploring The Soul
Africa has an excellent jazz scene. Dave
Love, the founder and owner of Heads Up International has
made nine trips to SA and the result of these travels is the
partnership with Sheer Sound,
South African's largest record label. "Smooth Africa I",
their first cooperation, was the reason to review some of South
African artists as Sipho
Smith and many more. After the tremendous success of "Smooth
Africa I" the follow up "Smooth Africa II - Exploring The
Soul" is a must.
Dave Love has
assembled anew some of the finest music one can listen to. "I
had fallen in love with the entire country, its people, its
culture," says Love. "But mostly I was amazed by the
talented local musicians who played with Joe, and felt they needed to
be heard outside of South Africa."
of Life, taken
from the album "Afrocentric" and featuring the Soweto String Quartet, presents a popular song of
1997 debut album
"Echoes from The Past",
was well received by audience and critics.
Jimi is called a "guitar wizard of jazz" and he really
deserves this title.
African group, Ladysmith Black
Mambazo, is certainly the world's best-known due to their
cooperation with Paul Simon on his album "Graceland".
incorporated the traditional sounds of black South Africa into the
"Graceland" album, a project regarded by many as seminal to
today's explosive interest in World Music. The
group 's name came about as a result of winning every singing
competition in which the group entered. "Ladysmith" is the
hometown of the Shabalala family; "Black" makes reference to
black oxen, considered to be the strongest on the farm. The Zulu word
"Mambazo" refers to an ax - symbolic of the group's ability
to "chop down" the competition. So good were they that after
a time they were forbidden to enter the competitions but welcomed, of
course, to entertain at them. The
is a traditional Zulu song about uniting as a nation rather than
relying on other
countries to help resolve your problems. A theme which is often played
by South African musicians. The song is remixed by D'Influence.
Joy by Allou
debut album at Sheer Sound. The title song was produced by Allou April
himself at Akoustic Music Studios in Cape Town in November 2001.
Obviously his visit card to the entrance of Sheer Sound this tune has
the original South African flavor like rhythm, choir and guitar riffs.
The message of this well tempered song arrived
Max, the recent winner of a the SAMA for Best Zulu Album, is a
blessed singer whose vocals are perfectly supported by the driving,
thumping grooves of "Mangase".
This song is taken from his album "Impilo". Impilo
(meaning Life), Max's newly released second album, is based on
observations of life in South Africa. Dedicated to the memory of Moses
it's absolutely dancable.
McBride's Aderley Street is featuring
South Africans Gerald Stockton on bass and Mike Drake on drums.
African rhythm is meeting American Smooth Jazz.
guitarist, vocalist and composer Oliver
Mtukudzi contributes Neria, from his
soundtrack written for the internationally acclaimed feature film from
Zimbabwe of the same name. The film tells a story about the Zulu widow
Neria who is dispossessed of her matrimonial property by the relatives
of her late husband. A sad song for a critical film. The song was
taken from his album Neria.
Narell is besides Joe McBride Heads Up Records' second artist who performed
before 60,000 fans at South Africa's largest music festival, Arts
Alive. He also played sold out concerts in Cape Town, Durban and
Pretoria. On the dynamic Punch Andy 's
steel pans are accompanied by special African artists.
The South African flavor turns on with
The song is especially recommend to fans of percussion music.
Concerning the title "Bo-Tsotsi"
It's a traditional folk tune that was in the townships when
Prince Kupi was growing up. The song is taken from the
Andy Narell-produced album "Loxion".
Hymn for Taiwa are
saxophon and especially Africa Mkhize's piano in long improvised solos. One
cannot deny a certain Gospel mood. This tune was taken from Moses'
a South African cjazz jewel.
McBride goes South Africa" that could be the sub-title of Yebo.
Bosman's Umuntu Wakho is taken from
her newest album "Stop And Think" (2003). This album will
remind many fans of her first appearances when she built a reputation
for singing the standards better than they were originally performed.
her two nominations at the 2003 South African Music Awards ceremony
held in April.
Gyra's album "Original Cinema" is presented with Capetown
Love. The rhythm is supported by Andy Narell on steel pans and
Dave Samuels on vibes. This song was inspired by Spyro Gyra's
performance at the North Sea Jazz festival in Cape Town and the Joy of
Jazz Festival in Johannesburg.
toto Smooth Africa II is a worthy follower to Smooth Africa. Dave Love
has a golden hand in selecting the tracks for this collection. You
will not get your foot down before the last tone. Dave has written in
the liner notes that this album is the second in a series that he
plans on releasing. What a splendid future.