134

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: No Boundaries

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: No Boundaries Sonically stunning, No Boundaries is a brave experiment in the dissolution of one culture in another that is only modestly successful. Ladysmith alone or the English Chamber Orchestra alone would work well, but more often than not, together they are unconvincing, a genre stretching effort (ill) conceived in the boardroom and not the studio. Where the listener would hope for a eutectoid relationship like that between jazz and Latin music, South African and European traditions create a micelle association with an African core and a European outer layer that results in confusion and distraction.

Where this disc works are in the Joseph Shabalala compositions, most particularly those with Paul Simon: "Homeless and "Amazing Grace, the latter being the most beautiful piece on the disc and the most effective in melding two visions. Also, Shabalala's efforts with Isak Roux ("Dona Nobis Pacem, "Ngingenwe Emoyeni, and "Umzuzu Nayi Ujesu ) possess and express the South African musical spirit in spite of the orchestral accompaniment. This is the art for which LBM is known.

Where this disc does not work is in the adapted classical pieces. Isak Roux makes a valiant effort to adapt Bach, Mozart, and Schubert, but came up rather short. These efforts result in the same predicament that (Western tradition) holiday music finds itself when interpreted through a cultural screen that is too foreign (a Celtic "White Christmas" for instance). I am confident that these adaptations will please many listeners. They leave this writer wanting more of what I experienced on Raise Your Spirit Higher.

Regardless of my quibbles, there is still much to enjoy here. Doubtlessly, this disc will be enthusiastically received by Ladysmith Black Mambazo fans, as well it should be. For the uninitiated: this is not the place to start your LBM journey.


Track Listing: 1. Jabulani; Rejoice; 2. Homeless; 3. Awu Wemadoda; 4. Amazing Grace; 5. Dona Nobis Pacem; 6. Ngingenwe Emoyeni (Wind of the Spirit of God); 7. Umzuzu Nayi Ujesu; 8. Jesu, Joy of Man's; Desiring 9. Sanctus (Heilig, Heilig, Heilig); 10. Ave Verum Corpus; 11. Lifikile Ivangeli; 12. Walil' Umtwana (The Child Is Crying); 13. Walil' Umtwana.

Personnel: Joseph Shabalala; Msizi Shabalala; Russel Mthembu; Albert Mazibuko; Jabulani Dubazana; Thulani Shabalala; Thamsanqa Shabalala; Sibongiseni Shabalala; Jockey Shabalala; Abednego Mazibuko

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review Outlier
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971" CD/LP/Track Review Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971
by Doug Collette
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "This Is Where I Live" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Where I Live
by James Nadal
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "The Garden of Equilibria" CD/LP/Track Review The Garden of Equilibria
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!