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Dan Shout: In With a Shout

Read "Dan Shout: In With a Shout" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

While it might be a cliché to say it, one can expect the unexpected when listening to the music of Dan Shout. An exceptional saxophonist and composer, the Cape Town-based artist has also built a sterling track record of creating highly distinctive and exciting albums. While he initially made a splash in 2012 with ...


MoonJune Releases Two Voices: Boris Savoldelli and Copernicus

MoonJune announces two (very different) new releases

This is the reissue of Boris' breakthrough first solo release, originally distributed only in Italy, in 2007. “An arresting mix of painstakingly overdubbed vocals, human beatbox effects, African-inspired choral music, plus the odd visit to the world of Jimi Hendrix (an extraordinary version ...


Ladysmith Black Mambazo Rediscovers Idyllic Past

Since their earliest recordings, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has maintained a respect and a reverence for their past. The centuries-old story of their homeland—sometimes joyous, sometimes troubled, but always rich and exhilarating—has been at the very foundation of this vocal group since its very beginning. Ladysmith's international image was boosted after their best-selling collaboration with Paul Simon for his 1986 "Graceland" album. The ...


Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Live!

Read "Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Live!" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Heads Up International

Music is, for all intents and purposes, a listening experience--one that is enhanced when accompanied by something visual. The South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo delivers visually as well as aurally with Live!, a concert DVD recorded in 2008 ...

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Long Walk to Freedom

Read "Long Walk to Freedom" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

It's fitting that the third track of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Long Walk to Freedom was co-written by Joseph Shabala, the group's lead singer, founder and musical director, and American pop star Paul Simon. About twenty years ago, Simon introduced this South African group to the pop world on Graceland. With Emmylou Harris providing a Simon-like lead ...


Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Long Walk to Freedom

Read "Long Walk to Freedom" reviewed by Jim Santella

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 ...

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: No Boundaries

Read "No Boundaries" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...


Ladysmith Black Mambazo: No Boundaries

Read "No Boundaries" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Musicians are known to have a “voice"?--a distinctive sound or style of playing that sets them apart from others. Even if you haven't heard the song or been given any kind of heads up about a new recording, it doesn't take long for you to figure out who is performing. That is especially true of Ladysmith ...


Ladysmith Black Mambazo: No Boundaries

Read "No Boundaries" reviewed by Jim Santella

Accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, Ladysmith Black Mambazo combines classical European pieces with the traditional music of their South African homeland on one program. The well-known vocal ensemble finds that both areas of music fit together well when they're doing the interpreting.

“Amazing Grace" is presented in English. The arrangement contains a lustrous ...


Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Raise Your Spirit Higher

Read "Raise Your Spirit Higher" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Ladysmith Black Mambazo could sing the text to American Psycho and make it sound as gentle as a lullaby. These singers are regarded as the foremost practitioners of South African vocal music, having received worldwide notice and acclaim when they appeared on Paul Simon’s 1986 recording Graceland (recall the revelation of the introduction to “Diamonds on ...