Harry Belafonte

Paradise in Gazankulu

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In 1988, Harry Belafonte turned 61 years old. After releasing exactly one album of new material in fifteen years, Belafonte showed the world that he still had enough in him to issue a collection of vital, exciting music with a point of view. The cause that triggered this creative explosion was South Africa's apartheid system. Long an advocate of black sovereignty in the country, Belafonte combined anger, defiance, and pride in this invigorating selection of songs, recorded in Johannesburg and featuring South African artists such as Brenda Fassie and Youssou N'Dour. The wry, cynical humor in protest songs such as the title track, "Move It" and "Kwela (Listen to the Man)" hearken back to similarly constructed political songs from the West Indies. This album jumpstarted Belafonte's stalled recording career and was released along with concert videos of Belafonte and a variety of African recording artists supported by Kodak's home video division. Unfortunately, Belafonte has not been seen in the recording studio since.

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