Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Essential CDs, and [overly enthusiastic] Praise for Tlale Makhene

The Citizen, a Johannesburg-based newspaper that reminds me a bit of the New York Post, released an article of essential CDs from 2006. Many of them are American (Shawn Colvin), or British, etc.

However, some notable inclusions: Gloria Bosman, Joe Nina, and more. There are some nice blurbs about the CDs too. It's definitely worth a quick look through the list.

On a side note, I've been going back and listening to an album by SA percussionist Tlale Makhene, entitled The Ascension of the Enlightened. It came out in 2004 to great critical acclaim - and I can say unreservedly that all praise of this album is 100% warranted. Tracks like "Bingelela" are freaking stunning, and the cover of Winston Ngozi's "Yakhal'Inkomo" is fabulous. Going out on a limb, this is unquestionably one of the best CDs to come out of South Africa in the past 5-10 years. Absolutely essential, if you've never listened to it.

Concord Nkabinde Review

My review of Concord Nkabinde's This Is My World is now on Read it here!

All in all a very solid album - he takes some cool risks in his music - notably at one point blending the zither with Zulu chorus. Sounds strange on paper, but it really works out nicely. I'd like to hear him stretch out beyond the Afropop/Safro jazz style he tends to work in, because when he does, he demonstrates himself to be many notches above other musicians.