Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

159

World Saxophone Quartet: M'Bizo

Derrick A. Smith By

Sign in to view read count
M’Bizo ’s reason for existence is twofold and intertwined. “The M’Bizo Suite” itself was written and choreographed specifically for a 1998 World Cup Carnavalcade held in northern France; this accounts for the theme of European-Asian-African unity, and may help explain the heartening robustness of the disc. As explained by David Murray in the liners, the album is also “for all those great musicians who had to leave their homeland, for those who were able to return and for those who never saw it again.”

Sobering conceits often result in anthemic sloganeering at the expense of musical grace, but with M’Bizo, it’s as if the WSQ and their South African guests internalized the notions of Unity to the point of complete unity of performance. The entire album, true to jazz and to African music, moves like a conversive dance, where the opening gumshoe vocal/Makhoyane-instrument tandem of “Snanapo” is transferred to drums/bass, the horns reduce everything to ecstatic chaos before building melodic statements, given extra harmony and darker shadings by the keyboards, until the listener realizes that behind all this American Jazz Freedom the original South African segment had formed a spine that the WSQ had fleshed out.

The Suite itself is built on the simple chant of “Africa-Europe-Asia” plus wordless syllables, presented first in a slow tempo, then doubled for “Sizelapha”. The album’s richest harmonies and melodies explode in the last two tracks. “Mashidiso” is especially touching. Murray asked the dancers to write verses expressing an expatriot’s longing for the country he had been forced to leave. The graceful song carries a woman’s name, and they - the South Africans and the WSQ - sing the type of “baby, baby” that hasn’t been heard around here in a long time.

Tracks :Snanapo / M’Bizo Suite: Africa-Europe-Asia; Sizelapha; M’Bizo / Matshidiso.

Musicians :David Murray - Tenor Sax & Bass Clarinet / Hamiet Bluiett - Baritone Sax, Bass Sax, Contrabasse Clarinette / Oliver Lake - Alto Sax / John Purcell - Saxello / Ronnie Burrage - Drums / James Lewis - Bass / D.D. Jackson - Piano / Jimane Nelson - Organ / Mabeleng Moholo - Makhoyane instrument / Jaribu Abdurahman - Shahib Bass / Mario Canonge - Piano.


Title: M'Bizo | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Hoob Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Äventyret" CD/LP/Track Review Äventyret
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Chapter Five" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Thank You For Coming To Life" CD/LP/Track Review Thank You For Coming To Life
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Pandora's Bag" CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!