171

Louis Mhlanga: Shamwari

Javier AQ Ortiz By

Sign in to view read count
Louis Mhlanga: Shamwari Quick and to the Point : Beautiful, nice, enjoyable Afro-Pop jazz on deceivingly unassuming guitar chops.



One good listening of Louis Mhlanga’s guitar playing and you will unconsciously pay closer attention to his proficient technique. His clever and tasty phrasings are congenial and well adapted to their musical ecosystem, as conceived entirely by Mhlanga . The recording thrives in contemporary Africana with relatively little support. Size of the ensemble, or scope of the production notwithstanding, the support is right to the point with no waste whatsoever. Shamwari feels very sincere and features a musical ambiance that lends itself to various social contexts and radio formats. This is as good as any introduction to the work of this young African jazz veteran as any.



Chirpy and sweet is the beginning of Shamwari with Mhlanga’s guitar and his shortstop-like sound in “Hona Ka.” His resonance is agile, with a strong arm and a wide range. If he could only negotiate a deal like Alex Rodríguez’s... Dream aside, back we come to hang in “Beira.” The study of port cities, as Beira is in Mhlanga’s native Mozambique, is an imperative in historical studies. Jazz has historic port connections throughout several U.S. cities, most notably New Orleans with its international connections to Europe the Americas and the all-important port of Havana. In jazz, as well as several Latin American genres, dues are paid to port cities in their compositions and this one is a worthy addition to that ongoing history. “Afrika ya uya” is a 6/8 march with vocal support that splashes its beauty all around the guitar’s swirling flights. Bassist Denny Lalouette shows up in this tune with a brief punch of force. “What Happened To Love?” takes Mhlanga well into Latin territory and he is no stranger to such musical geography. “Distant Lover” almost suggests a Puerto Rican Aguinaldo . “Chifamba” is a mouth-wateringly percussive groove where the guitar cascades throughout. “Kugarisana Nevamwe Zvakanaka” is a somewhat laid back invitation to harmony with African vocals with equally African guitar licks heating up into percussive swings. Indeed, it is the use of percussive effects that frames the title cut of this recording and Mhlanga does offer some surprising clear lines of thought through his fingers. “Take Me” is a harmonic and melodic delight that builds up and up and up... It all ends with a thumb piano on “Dzembira” where Mhlanga, who does not keep to just one sound texture, adds a final layer to this cool album .



Contact: For U.S. availability of this Sheer Sound artist, contact ReRooted Media .


Track Listing: 1. Hona Ka 2. Beira 3. Afrika ya uya 4. What Happened To Love? 5. Distant Lover 6. Chifamba 7. Kugarisana Nevamwe Zvakanaka 8. Shamwari 9. Take Me 10. Dzembira

Personnel: Bass-Denny Lalouette, Herbie Tsoaeli (7, 10). Drums-Sello Montweni, Rob Watson (1, 4). Guitars & vocals-Louis Mhlanga. Percussion-Elhadgi Diop, Basie Mahlasela. Piano & keyboards-Andile Yenana. Vocals-Nomsa Magwaza (3, 6 & 7), Sipho Nkosiyani (3, 6 & 7).

Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Sheer Sound | Style: African Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Dobbeltgaeenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaeenger
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "Brian Bromberg" CD/LP/Track Review Brian Bromberg
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 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!