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by Seton Hawkins
Louis Mhlanga has established himself as one of Southern Africa's most influential and unique guitarists. Originally from Zimbabwe, he now records for South Africa's Sheer Sound label. While his music, as the title of this album suggests, draws its inspiration from all over the globe, his guitar playing seems to draw its greatest influences from the melodic contours and rhythmic plays heard in the mbira music of Zimbabwe.This 2005 collection is mostly a retrospective album of Mhlanga's earlier ...read more
by Javier AQ Ortiz
Quick and to the Point : Beautiful, nice, enjoyable Afro-Pop jazz on deceivingly unassuming guitar chops.
One good listening of Louis Mhlanga’s guitar playing and you will unconsciously pay closer attention to his proficient technique. His clever and tasty phrasings are congenial and well adapted to their musical ecosystem, as conceived entirely by Mhlanga . The recording thrives in contemporary Africana with relatively little support. Size of the ensemble, or scope of the production notwithstanding, the support is ...read more
by AAJ Staff
While jazz purists might snub guitarist Louis Mhlanga's efforts on Shamwari as simple Afro-pop, this music rises above the elemental revolving harmonies of that genre. Mhlanga's guitar work combines a strong sense of form with occasional detours into open improvisational territory. His core sextet includes three percussionists, which may give you some idea of the rhythmic depth assembled to support Mhlanga's often rhythmically sophisticated work on top. (The recording unfortunately does not always do these players justice, but they do ...read more