Eduardo Durão

Timbila [Naxos]

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A nice collection of songs from the timbila tradition of Mozambique. Eduardo Durão, the musical director of the National Association for Song and Dance of the country, here plays the smallish xylophone with outstanding virtuosity among a group of other players, percussionists, and singers. The sound is often similar to a mbira ensemble, with light sounds throughout and only a single bass timbila used to anchor the ensemble. The interesting feature here is in the ways in which non-traditional instruments are introduced into the works. There's a basic call-and-response vocal pattern along with the usual timbilas and percussion, but occasionally the saxophone and synthesizer fly out over the top of the ensemble to create a fusionist jazz form with the basic foundation of timbila. The Naxos World releases are interesting for their tendency to mix the traditional with the contemporary, and this is another nice addition to that concept.

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