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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miriam Makeba: South Africa's Skylark

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As was the case with her mentor, partner and fellow social radical, singer Harry Belafonte, South African-born singer Miriam Makeba's breakthrough international hits were sunny, folk-based pop singles devoid of the explicit political content which would later inform much of her work. Belafonte scored with the calypsos “Banana Boat Song" and “Island In The Sun" in 1956-57. Makeba with “The Click Song" and “Pata Pata" shortly after arriving in the US in 1959. The discs made Belafonte and Makeba hugely popular with well-to-do, white audiences, but the two musicians' soon to be revealed political activism created deep and, in some ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks: Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 1/Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 2

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If you like jazz vocalese, doo-wop, old-time soul, gospel, South African township music, or any combination of the aforementioned, you will probably love these two CDs by Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks. Together these separate releases provide a comprehensive overview of the group's recorded legacy. Makeba and the Skylarks were one of the most successful South African vocal groups to blend American influences (Mills Brothers-style pop, gospel, and jazz) with South African tribal rhythms and vocal styles (primarily mbube, a four-part harmony approach originated by Zulu miners). Their music holds up extremely well four decades after it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miriam Makeba: The Definitive Collection

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For as long as I can remember, Miriam Makeba has been the female voice of South Africa, as well as an international ambassador for the causes of liberation and justice. This compilation is worthy of its subject; having been put together with the help of Makeba herself, it gives a good picture of her entire career and includes her most popular songs.

Makeba made her recording debut with The Manhattan Brothers in 1953, on the track “Laku Tshone 'langa". Aged 21, she had been plucked from rival group The Cuban Brothers. In truth, the two tracks here by The Manhattan ...



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