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A surprisingly comprehensive collection, this album from Putumayo really does cover nearly every South African musical legend that's made a name for themselves (with the only really obvious exceptions being Dorothy Masuka and Dave Matthews, though the latter's music isn't as rooted in African tradition in the first place). The album opens with some nice jive courtesy of the Soul Brothers. The great groaner Mahlathini combines with his favorites the Mahotella Queens for a bouncing, lilting number that shows off his deep, deep delivery. Vusi Mahlasela shows off his guitar style on a newer track, and the Mahotellas return for the classic "Mbube" (which really kicked off the recognition of African music in the Western world). More jive comes from the great West Nkosi, whose saxophone also leads the way into South African jazz in its modern form, as realized by Hugh Masekela in the next track. Lucky Dube evokes Marley and Tosh in his light reggae, and the cross-cultural Johnny Clegg presents a number. The album closes with two of the biggest stars of South Africa -- Miriam Makeba and a metaphorical song of exile, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo with their classic iscathamiya sound. Just about every sound that someone may have heard in recent years (or in years past) coming from South Africa is represented here. For a listener curious about the sounds of the country and its strong musical history, this makes for an outstanding introduction. For those already taken with South African music, it will still provide an enjoyable listen, and may even remind you to go look up someone you've forgotten about.
|Label:||Putumayo World Music|
Performance CreditsLucky Dube Track Performer
Johnny Clegg Track Performer
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Track Performer
Mahotella Queens Track Performer
Miriam Makeba Track Performer
Hugh Masekela Track Performer
Juluka Track Performer
West Nkosi Saxophone,Penny Whistle,Track Performer
Technical CreditsDavid Masondo Composer
Maxwell Mngadi Composer
Black Moses Ngwenya Composer
Dan Storper Executive Producer
Marks Mankwane Composer
Nicola Heindl Illustrations
Solomon Linda Composer
Jacob Edgar Liner Notes