Suthukazi Arosi: uBuntu

Javier AQ Ortiz By

Sign in to view read count
Suthukazi Arosi: uBuntu Mythical characters arise out of the aspirations and fears of people and such figures end up conforming the dreamy inroads of inspiration into music. On the cover of uBuntu appears a warrior-like personage that could very well sing her way into the pantheon of ancestral spirits that reigns, according to many honorable local traditions, over African music. Behold composer, lyricist and singer Suthukazi Arosi. It is hoped that her dark knobkerrie will not hit you in the head, like the literary character MaMsomi was, in order to take you into the cave of renewed musical tastes, searching for our fabled common humanity through this recording. That, after all, is what Arosi is looking for, a common humanity all the way through a sound that moves, pleases, inspires and soothes.

South Africans do not concern themselves too much with fitting their tuneful lives and lexis into easy labels, hence the stew of influences present in Arosi’s Jazzy and rootsy recording. Musically speaking this CD is a deft hunt for melody and harmony, through several stimuli. The sax lines on the opening cut, for example, are as embedded in Jazz as they are in the strapping Pop that thrives throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. An occasional acoustic piano, accompanied by superb rhythmic support throughout the album, serves Arosi’s indomitable vocalizations rather well. Her africanía readily conveys passion, emotion, depth, happiness and hope. Tradition, most obviously expressed through the lead and back up vocal work, does not have to exclude the advances brought about by technology. Its sparse use in the album complements the colorful palette that this striking actress offers on a graceful acoustic bed made by musicians that can keep plenty of swing and groove going through it all.

As in any type of art, the touches matter most. Arosi’s production values infuse a breath of life into a program of implementation that, along with the support of Andile Yenana and Herbie Tsoaeli, shaped the musical feel or air of this recording. Such is the way in which mythical characters become living messengers of critical communications of hope, challenge, as well as life and fun. After uBuntu you will love Africa, people, life and Arosi much more. Her breath of life can touch you...

Contact: www.sheer.co.za

Track Listing: 1. Wemnt

Personnel: Acoustic Piano (2, 7, 9); Synth, Fender Rhodes Keyboard (3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10)-Andile Yenana. Backing vocals-Velile Mchunu, Sonto Khumalo, Sipho Nxumalo, Bongani Masuku, Khanya Ceza (1). Add Lindiwe Mkhize on 3 and 4, Herbie Motlatsi Tsoaeli on 6. Bass-Jimmy Mngwandi (1, 4), Herbie Tsoaeli-(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10); Drum Program (3, 8). Drums- Sello Montwedi (4, 5, 6, 10). Isaac Mtshali (1). Rob Watson (2, 7, 9). Electric Guitar-George Phiri (2, 10). Guitar-Bheki Khoza (1, 8). Louis Mhlanga (3, 4, 5, 6). Lead vocals on all tracks, backing vocals on all but 1 and 6-Suthukazi Arosi. Organ, Accordion (1)-Thuthukani Cele (3, 4, 6, 8). Percussions, Congas (3)-Basie Mahlasela (4, 5, 10). Sax, Flute (5)-Buddy Wells (1, 10).

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Sheer Sound | Style: Beyond Jazz


More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Andando el Tiempo" CD/LP/Track Review Andando el Tiempo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "In Concert" CD/LP/Track Review In Concert
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Life After Life" CD/LP/Track Review Life After Life
by Troy Collins
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "Boss Tenor" CD/LP/Track Review Boss Tenor
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: July 20, 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!