336

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Long Walk to Freedom

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Long Walk to Freedom The vocal call and response of Ladysmith Black Mambazo traces our world's civilizations from the very beginning. As a form of communication, singing has accompanied the advancement of societies far and wide. Our ancestors undoubtedly found it as pleasurable as we do. With a cappella singing providing a natural delight that cannot be replaced by modern technology, Joseph Shabala and company deliver a series of timeless messages that grab at your soul.

Except for "Mbube, colored in different textures by Taj Mahal's gritty blues vocals and fiery electric guitar, and "Shosholoza, which includes Hugh Masekela's mellow flugelhorn voice within its rich structure, Long Walk to Freedom is purely an a cappella album. Joseph Shabala, his stellar vocal group, and his endearing guests create a memorable experience.

Nearly every track is a high point. From the vocal percussion that they and Joe McBride employ on "Diamonds in the Soles of her Shoes to the vocal purity that Emmylou Harris adds to "Amazing Grace, the album comes recommended for all listeners.

Two selections are offered as music videos on this enhanced CD. Mambazo's audio-visual interpretation of "Long Walk to Freedom gives the group's audience a strong feel for what history has handed South Africa. Marking twelve years of democracy and weaving images of Nelson Mandela into the mix, the ensemble's five-minute video inspires. The video interpretation of "Raise Your Spirit Higher, from the album of the same name, emphasizes music over meaning, but with Mambazo in clear focus. The enhanced CD also includes a screensaver, eighteen color photos of the vocal ensemble, a written biography, and detailed release information.

Track Listing: Nomathemba; Hello My Baby; Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes; Homeless; Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain; How Long; Mbube (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (Wimoweh); Amazing Grace / Nearer My God to Thee; Nkosi Sikelel

Personnel: Joseph Shabalala- vocals, leader; Msizi Shabalala, Thulani Shabalala, Sibongiseni Shabalala, Thamsanqa Shabalala, Albert Mazibuko, Abednego Mazibuko, Russel Mthembu, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, Joe McBride, Natalie Merchant, Marie Maulne, Tanja Daese, Lene Noegaard Christensen, Lucky Dube, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Vusi Mahlasela, Nokukamya, Phuzekhemisi, Thandiswa: vocals; Taj Mahal: vocals, guitar; Hugh Masekela: flugelhorn.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Roaring" CD/LP/Track Review Roaring
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "Eleven Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Promises
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "IIII+IIII" CD/LP/Track Review IIII+IIII
by James Nadal
Published: April 17, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.