Barungwa

The Messengers

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Nice concept jazz from a mixing of British grooves and South African jazz (and more). A trio of London's session musicians is joined by a guitarist, a vocalist, and a pianist (the late Moses Molelekwa, who died along with his wife/manager in tragic and seemingly unresolved circumstances in 2001) from South Africa, with a handful of other musicians from both continents providing some of the backing tracks. The result is a surprisingly good fusion. The sound is somewhat closer to the British end of things in general, with a sophisticated production and hankering for effects and surprise. Nonetheless, the South African tendencies for tight parallel horns and socially conscious lyrics make themselves known as well. The tone can shift from the use of simple funky horn grooves to more complex marimba melodies to beat-heavy thumps of smooth jazz with electric guitar solos laid out over the top. A very wide range of abilities is displayed, and all at a consistently high quality. This album is unlikely to be everyone's cup of cross-cultural tea, but it's not bad at all. Certainly worth hearing for progressive jazz lovers.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:37
2
6:12
3
4:31
4
5:25
5
3:11
6
6:15
7
4:32
8
4:44
9
5:45
10
4:51
blue highlight denotes track pick