367

Oliver Mtukudzi: Tsimba Itsoka

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Oliver Mtukudzi: Tsimba Itsoka For better or worse, everyone leaves a mark on the world. That's the underlying theme of Oliver Mtukudzi's Tsimba Itsoka, which means "No foot, no footprint. Though only his second release since joining the Heads Up family in 2005, it's far from being a new thing for the Zimbabwe native.

Nicknamed "Tuku by his fans, Mtukudzi has been a force for political and social change through music for more than thirty years. His early career included some solo work, as well as being part of the group Wagon Wheels and, later, Black Spirits. Tuku has also branched into other forms of expression, including film and theater.

Part of the Heads Up Africa Series, Tsimba Itsoka is Mtuduzi's way of telling the world that whatever you do, positive or negative, you're going to leave a mark. Tuku is lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist. He is supported by a small ensemble. While the music is mostly tranquil, mixing reggae with laidback pop sounds, the messages are serious.

"Ungade we? (Would you like it?), despite its pleasant tone, urges violent criminals to look at the world from the eyes of those hurt by their actions. "Would you like it if your daughter was raped? "Chikara (wild animal) continues the footprint theme. With Samson Mtukudzi on soprano saxophone, the song explains how you can tell by the animal's footprints whether it is a dangerous predator.

The musicians and background vocalists are excellent throughout, but perhaps a bit more so on "Kuropodza (one who talks too much). Keyboardist Jairos Hambahamba is more involved, and drummer Bobby Mutyasira punctuates this conversation piece with effective use of cymbals.

Other tracks have equally powerful messages, including "Kuipedza (wasting), "Mbiri Hurimbo (fame is sticky) and "Kumiramira Nekumiramira (waiting and waiting). Tuku and his supporting cast deliver these messages with delightful rhythms and charming melodies. With Tsimba Itsoka, Mtukudzi leaves a positive footprint on the world of music.


Track Listing: Ungadee we?; Chikara; Kuropodza; Mhinduro; Hapana Kuti Mbijana; Njuga; Kuipedza; Masimba mashoma; Mbiri hurimbo; Nzungu imwe; Vachakunokera; Kumira nekumirira

Personnel: Oliver Mtukudzi: lead vocals, acoustic guitar; Clive Bobby Mutyasira: drums; Never Mpofu: bass; Clive Mono Mukundu: lead guitar; Jairos Hambahamba: keyboards; Adam Chisvo: congas; Namatai Mubarki: vocals; Mary Bell: vocals; Eric Picky Kasamba: vocals; Kenny Neshamba: vocals; Samson Mtukudzi: saxophone.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Heads Up International | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "88" CD/LP/Track Review 88
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "The Final Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 23, 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!