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 Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "No White Shoes" CD/LP/Track Review No White Shoes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!