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Musician

Bheki Mseleku

Born:

Bheki Mseleku - pianist, guitar, saxophonist, vocalist, composer, recording artist The South African jazz scene is proud of its heritage and the musicians tend to integrate that essence into their style. Proper recognition of this fine multi-instrumentalist's talents seemed long in coming, but since 1991 this modest and dignified performer has been touring internationally and releasing several albums with major record labels, as well as appearing on releases from other artists. Bheki Mseleku arrived on the Johannesburg music scene in 1975 as an electric organ player for an R&B outfit, and has over time adapted and grown into one of the world's finest musicians

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Article: Book Review

The South African Jazz Real Book Vol. 1

Read "The South African Jazz Real Book Vol. 1" reviewed by Chris May


The South African Jazz Real Book Vol. 1 Jannie van Tonder & George Werner 166 Pages ISBN: 978-0-620-93506-7 Jazz.co.za 2021 In an age when songwriters are routinely defrauded by music streaming platforms--by every thieving one of them--you might think that another real book would be as welcome as ...

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Article: Year in Review

Ludovico Granvassu's 2021 Sonic Delights

Read "Ludovico Granvassu's 2021 Sonic Delights" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Jazz is not a competitive sport and “Best Ofs" are misnomers. End of the year listicles have no bearing on the artistic standing of the albums they include, or on those they neglect, just like a five star review doesn't make the album it graces any better than it already is. But, apparently, humans ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Jihye Lee, Dave Holland, Omar Sosa, Bheki Mseleku & Other New Releases

Read "Jihye Lee, Dave Holland, Omar Sosa, Bheki Mseleku & Other New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Hypnotic tunes, Orchestras, South African piano masters and James Brandon Lewis' prolific vein are the main themes of this show focusing on new and upcoming releases.Happy listening!Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Omar Sosa “Shibinda" An East African Journey (OTA) 0:16 Host talks 4:54 Sam ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Sizeable Outfits, Enviable Outcomes: Large Ensembles In Pursuit Of Excellence

Read "Sizeable Outfits, Enviable Outcomes: Large Ensembles In Pursuit Of Excellence" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Perhaps nothing better symbolizes dogged persistence than the proliferation of large ensembles in every corner of the jazz world. To take on this kind of work can and should be considered injudicious for the rationally-minded, as the investments--time-wise, organizationally, financially, mentally--are beyond compare. But just because the dollars and sense don't add up doesn't mean it's ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Mondo Jazz Turns 100! Zeno De Rossi, Vincent Courtois, Tim Berne and New Releases

Read "Mondo Jazz Turns 100! Zeno De Rossi, Vincent Courtois, Tim Berne and New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This week Mondo Jazz turns 100 episodes old. So we open with the uplifting “celebration" by South African pianist Bheki Mseleku before delving into what we like best, unearthing precious gems from around the world. In this segment we feature another great stack of new releases, including the upcoming The Fantastic Mrs. 10 by Tim Berne's ...

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Article: Interview

Claude Cozens: Reimagining Rhythm

Read "Claude Cozens: Reimagining Rhythm" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


The Cape Jazz sound of South Africa is known to international audiences primarily thanks to the music of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. However, the music and traditions of Cape Town and the Western Cape run much deeper, reflecting an extraordinary, sometimes contradictory, and exceedingly complex set of cultures and traditions reflected in the area. Within this environment ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Jazz of the New South Africa, Part 1

Read "Jazz of the New South Africa, Part 1" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


South Africa celebrated its first democratic elections in April 1994, entering a new phase of its history. During that decade, an incredible new array of Jazz artists emerged in the country, exploring Jazz's role in the New South Africa. Playlist Bheki Mseleku “Closer to the Source" from Celebration (World Circuit) 2:03 Paul Hanmer ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

[email protected], Bird vs. Hays & more

Read "Ornette@50, Bird vs. Hays & more" reviewed by Marc Cohn


We have a lot of ground to cover this week. After our starting half-hour of 21st century music, we have a compare/contrast of Charlie Parker versus a Kevin Hays deconstruction of “Scrapple from the Apple." The day of broadcast on WHYR was Art Tatum's birthday; so we have a rare recording of an airshot ...


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