281

Louis Mhlanga: World Traveller

Seton Hawkins By

Sign in to view read count
Louis Mhlanga: World Traveller
Louis Mhlanga has established himself as one of Southern Africa's most influential and unique guitarists. Originally from Zimbabwe, he now records for South Africa's Sheer Sound label. While his music, as the title of this album suggests, draws its inspiration from all over the globe, his guitar playing seems to draw its greatest influences from the melodic contours and rhythmic plays heard in the mbira music of Zimbabwe.

This 2005 collection is mostly a retrospective album of Mhlanga's earlier releases for Sheer Sound. However, for people who are familiar with the guitarist's music, World Traveller also contains three new recordings that revisit some of his earlier, mostly pre-Sheer Sound, material.

The selections focus on the artist's more upbeat, danceable side, with tracks like "Rhumba All the Way (featuring Orchestra Baobab), "Mari Hukuna and "Zuva. We only get a taste of his more introspective work—two sublime duet albums with upright bassist Eric van der Westen—on one track, "Kamba Kemaziso. However, the general absence of these albums from this compilation makes for a more thematically unified release, and the curious can always pick up the duet albums later.

Ultimately, World Traveller gives a clear and useful introduction to listeners not familiar with Mhlanga's music, and provides some extremely worthwhile new material for those who have already heard his work. For further listening, check out his duet album with Vusi Mahlasela, Live at the Bass line, and the two above-mentioned albums with Eric van der Westen, Song for Nomsa and Keeping the Dream.

Note: This recording is available from One World on the web.

Track Listing

Rhumba All the Way; Afrika Ya Uya; Shungu Iwe; Spreading Some Love; Hona Ka; Serina; Distant Lover; Gumbo Muchochocho; Kamba Kemaziso; International Rhumba; Mari Hakuna; Zuva; Chifamba; Rudo; Take Me; What the Future Holds.

Personnel

Louis Mhlanga: guitar, vocals; Jimi Indi: bass; Sam Mataure: drums; Basi Mahlasela: percussion; Orchestra Baobab: guests; Denny Lalouette: bass; Sello Montwedi: drums; Elhadji Diop: percussion; Andile Yenana: keyboards; Nomsa Magwaza: vocals; Sipho Nkosiyani: vocals; Ernest Ranglin: guitar; Michael Phillipgs: bass; Sam Mataure: drums; Randal Skippers: keyboards; Rob Watson: drums; Oliver Mtukudzi: vocals; Stella Humalo: vocals; Faith Kekana: vocals; Bushy Seatlholo: synth; Herbie Tsoaeli: bass; Candy Mokwena: vocals; Nurse Matala: vocals; Habib Koite: guitar; Eric van der Westen: bass; Jeroen Van Vliet: keyboards; Busi Mhlongo: vocals; Chiwoniso: vocals; Marcus Wyatt: trumpet; Basi Mahlasela: percussion; Sydney Mnisi: tenor sax.

Album information

Title: World Traveller | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sheer Sound

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Bernstein Reimagined
Bernstein Reimagined
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Read Faune
Faune
Raphaël Pannier Quartet
Read En Casa Limon
En Casa Limon
David Broza
Read Freedom Fables
Freedom Fables
Nubiyan Twist
Read Auge
Auge
Aki Takase / Christian Weber / Michael Griener
Read Son Of Nyx
Son Of Nyx
Tamil Rogeon
Read Solo/Duo
Solo/Duo
Eli Wallace/Beth McDonald

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.