Ancient Wisdom: Songs and Fables from Zimbabwe

Ephat Mujuru

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Ancient Wisdom: Songs and Fables from Zimbabwe Review

by Alex Henderson

In Zimbabwe, musicians have the option of choosing either contemporary electric African pop or going with traditional acoustic tribal music. One of the country's many traditional players, Ephat Mujuru specializes in the mbira, an acoustic instrument that has played a prominent role in the tribal sounds of Zimbabwe. Although the vast majority of mbira players have been men, Stella Chiweshe (also from Zimbabwe) is among the women who have mastered the instrument. The mbira, which is also known as the African thumb piano, sounds somewhat like the xylophone, the marimba and the vibraphone, yet has its own distinctive character. On Ancient Wisdom: Songs and Fables from Zimbabwe, Mujuru brings a lot of charm to the instrument. Some of the selections are entirely instrumental, and others find Mujuru singing and playing his mbira simultaneously. Mujuru is heard in English on "Song for Peace" and the children's fable "Chamakanda." Fans of acoustic African styles will appreciate this CD.

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