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ALBUM REVIEWS

Andile Yenana: Who's Got the Map?

Read "Who's Got the Map?" reviewed by AAJ Staff

South African pianist Andile Yenana first attracted attention as a sideman on Zim Ngqawana's early recordings, where his McCoy Tyner-ish playing served as a perfect complement to Ngqawana's Coltrane-like energy. In 2002 Sheer Sound released his debut, We Used to Dance, which drew upon these themes. But it would be a mistake to categorize Yenana as a modal player locked in that mold, because he's capable of much more. His followup, the mostly quintet album Who's Got the Map?, offers ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Andile Yenana: Who's Got the Map?

Read "Who's Got the Map?" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

The odd title of pianist Andile Yenana's second album as a leader, as he writes, “depicts the space I am in--call it my voice, expression, interpretation of a reality transformed into compositions." While that's a mouthful, the album succeeds in this respect. A disheartening trend in some South African jazz is a common desire to fashion a “global village" sound: so many styles are referenced and used that the result becomes impersonal. Yenana never succumbs to such problems. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Andile Yenana: We Used To Dance

Read "We Used To Dance" reviewed by AAJ Staff

From its very first notes, pianist Andile Yenana's debut record flows with song. The opener, “Wicked Whispers" (a highly ironic title), introduces all four members of his quartet in a lyrical chorus soaring above gentle swing. Yenana's stated intent with this record is to fuse the sonorities of jazz with the culture and ritual of South Africa. His musical heroes (Winston Mankunku, Abdullah Ibrahim, Chris McGregor, Hugh Masekela, and Zim Ngqawana) represent the high points of this sort of cross-cultural ...