Freedom Blues: South African Jazz Under Apartheid collects 13 works from South African jazz groups like the Blue Notes and Isipingo. The album highlights the bands' artistic and political expression: through jazz's idiosyncratic, individualistic style, artists such as the African Jazz Pioneers voiced their resistance to apartheid. Musically as well as politically, Freedom Blues resonates with South African spirit, blending African and international elements into mid-century jazz styles. From the swing of Chris McGregor & the Castle Lager Big Band's "Switch" to the explorations of Dollar Brand's "Bombella," Freedom Blues blends heritage and innovation in a fascinating mix.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares