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Album Review

Bokani Dyer: Radio Sechaba

Read "Radio Sechaba" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Bokani Dyer has already established himself as one of the leading musical voices of his generation in South Africa. But with Radio Sechaba--the heralded multi-hyphenate's first release on aural arbiter Gilles Peterson's Brownswood imprint--he expands his voice, reach and notability. Synthesizing a set of broad influences and building sounds of possibility surrounding his homeland and a global community, Dyer delivers an irresistible amalgam for our times and future. Born in exile in Botswana in 1986 and returning ...

Radio & Podcasts

Bokani Dyer, Kenny Barron, Claudia Acuña, Vusi Mahlasela & More

Read "Bokani Dyer, Kenny Barron, Claudia Acuña, Vusi Mahlasela & More" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we focus on emerging musicians from South Africa, and on a number of recent releases showcasing the many facets of a living master of the piano, Kenny Barron, featured as solo artist on a rare recording date as a leader, as accompanist, as a composer that inspired other contemporary musicians, and as a side-man in a very bop-oriented concert which was recently unearthed.Happy listening!Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng ...

Album Review

Shane Cooper & Mabuta: Finish The Sun

Read "Finish The Sun" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

On Mabuta's debut—Welcome To This World (Afrosynth Records, 2018)—South African bassist, electronic musician and composer Shane Cooper introduced ears to a leading-edge ensemble intent on delivering trippy, dance-friendly designs. Now, with this second album, he doubles down on that core concept, delivering a heap of hip groovers which draw strength from Pan-African influences and ride high in the atmosphere, twirling atop a rotating cast of drummers plucked from points across the eastern hemisphere. Kicking things off with ...

Album Review

Bokani Dyer Trio: Neo Native

Read "Neo Native" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In pianist Bokani Dyer's Neo Native we find a pact between the ideals of advancement and atavism. This rising star on the South African scene and international stage merges modernistic language with traditional streams with this malleable trio, creating a unique signature that's both indebted to his homeland's history and free of clichés. That conjoined sensibility manifests immediately, as the title track opens the album and shifts from mournful streams with a traditionalist bent to dicier developments. ...


Bokani Dyer: African Piano

Read "Bokani Dyer: African Piano" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Throughout this decade, pianist, composer, and bandleader Bokani Dyer has stood as one of the most formidable and creative keyboard talents in South Africa today. Raised in a musical family--his father is the legendary saxophonist Steve Dyer--Bokani Dyer quickly demonstrated an extraordinary musical vision and identity of his own. Indeed, albums of his, notably Emancipate the Story and World Music, stand as modern classics highlighting the breathtaking creativity in South Africa's music scene today. As Dyer releases his ...

Album Review

Bokani Dyer: World Music

Read "World Music" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's not exactly a secret that the concept of “World Music" isn't all that its name implies. That tag, still in wide use today, became somewhat meaningless a couple decades back, serving primarily as an umbrella category to market any and every form of non-Western music to Western ears. But South African pianist Bokani Dyer sees it differently. His own vision of this ideal is based on musical egalitarianism, or, as noted on his own website, “a celebration of all ...


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