Sathima Bea Benjamin: Musical Echoes (2006)
Benjamin met the innovative pianist Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim) in the late '50s, but the two fled South Africa in 1962 due to the political climate of the day. They moved to Europe, where they stayed for much of the 1960s, which gives the release of this album a sense of bittersweet homecoming. She is joined by pianist Stephen Scott (currently with Sonny Rollins), bassist Basil Moses and drummer Lulu Gontsana, the latter both well-regarded South African musicians.
The music presented is, as always, consistent with her standards, and a tribute to the songbooks of Duke Ellington, Rodgers & Hart, Gershwin and Berlin. Benjamin lends a South African pulse to "Falling In Love With Love," offers a beautifully rendered ballad version of "Someone To Watch Over Me," and delivers a most interesting hypnotic take on "Caravan." Her peerless versions of "They Say Its Wonderful" and "Something To Live For" are also highlights. Finally, on the title tune, an original composition, the vocalist reflects on music and its healing powers.
Track Listing: All Too Soon; Caravan; Falling In Love With Love; I'll Follow My Secret Heart; They Say It's Wonderful; Musical Echoes; Someone To Watch Over Me; Something To Live For; Star Eyes.
Personnel: Sathima Bea Benjamin: vocals; Stephen Scott: piano; Basil Moses: bass; Lulu Gontsana: drums.
Record Label: Ekapa