×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Voice
     

The Voice

by Vusi Mahlasela
 
Of all the glorious music showcased in the celebrated film Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, a rhythmic history of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, singer Vusi Mahlasela stood out. A star in his homeland for over a decade, Mahlasela, whose poignant song-poems are as powerful as his preternaturally pure instrument, makes his international entrée

Overview

Of all the glorious music showcased in the celebrated film Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, a rhythmic history of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, singer Vusi Mahlasela stood out. A star in his homeland for over a decade, Mahlasela, whose poignant song-poems are as powerful as his preternaturally pure instrument, makes his international entrée with The Voice. It's a collection spanning the past 11 years of his career, which began in the community of singers and writers in Mamelodi township and was punctuated by his performance at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994. With a sound that incorporates the acoustic strum and finely wrought lyrics of folk rock with an unmistakably jazzy bounce and the occasional understated chuk of reggae, Mahlasela's music has had the resonance of Dylan or Woody Guthrie in South Africa. Stateside listeners will note these touchstones and others: "Sleep Tight Margaret" takes mystic tea-time with Cat Stevens; the spoken stanzas of "Red Song" recall the majesty of Ladysmith Black Mambazo; and the radiant female chorus on many tracks invokes Bob Marley's I-Threes. Particularly open ears will hear the antecedents of fan Dave Matthews in the wistful vocals, unusual instruments (acoustic guitars, pennywhistle, sax, mandolin), and formidable rhythmic verve. Mahlasela actually appeared on DMB's Everyday and was signed to the jam king's ATO record label. Equally impressive is what Mahlasela has to say, mostly in English on this collection, but also in various African languages. His are lyrics of struggle rendered in the personal, from "that woman who jumped the fence pregnant and still gave birth to a healthy child" to the cosmic, as mesmerizing in their continual telescoping as is the swooping quicksilver loveliness of his voice. There's triumph, joy, and pain in both what Mahlasela sings and how he sings it, making The Voice a wonderful and captivating discovery.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Jon Pareles
A voice that leaps out of the music: grainy and gentle down below, rising to a clarion falsetto.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/22/2003
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0791022151220
catalogNumber:
21512
Rank:
92284

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Vusi Mahlasela   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Noise Khanyile   Violin
Bruce Cassidy   Trumpet
Ian Herman   Percussion,Drums
Faith Kekana   Background Vocals
Stella Khumalo   Background Vocals
Victor Masondo   Bass
Louis Mhlanga   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Kelly Petlane   Flute
Lloyd Ross   Guitar,Mandolin
Wings Segale   Background Vocals
James Stewart   Background Vocals
Jannie VanTonder   Trombone
Mauritz Lotz   Guitar
Barry Snyman   Alto Saxophone
Sipho Mbhele   Background Vocals
Margaret Motsage   Background Vocals
Vicky Vilakazi   Background Vocals
Marcus Wyatt   Trumpet
Kevin Gibson   Drums
Herbie Tsoaeli   Upright Bass
Jahn Beukes   Bendir
Queen Ranyama   Background Vocals
Bra Ntemi Piliso   Alto Saxophone
Sipho Mxumalo   Background Vocals
Johnny Motuba   Drums
Tani Mello   Keyboards
Jantshi Mayo   Bass
Thandi Masemola   Background Vocals
Caroline Masemola   Background Vocals
Elway Masango   Bass
Paul Majoro   Electric Guitar
Constance Mahlo   Background Vocals
Basie Mahlasela   Percussion
Moses Mafiri   Acoustic Guitar
Phil Holder   Saxophone
Christopher Letcher   Keyboards
Johan Laas   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Louis Mhlanga   Producer
Lloyd Ross   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Roger Steffens   Liner Notes,Introduction
Vusi Mahlasela   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Rick Mitchell   Programming,Engineer
Chris Tetzeli   Executive Producer
Graham Beggs   Producer
Proud People's Band   Arranger
Lance McCormack   Executive Producer
Johan Laas   Programming
Richard Mitchell   Engineer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews