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Xolani Mthombeni

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A Long Weight

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An implicit sound of silence tends to trickle into the worlds of our residence when we should banter and converse. At times, in avoidance to broach subject matters, the cliché “silence is golden” has become a suitable euphemistic imputation to quietness. In many instances, the disease of not speaking is a fertile land to breed pandemoniums. Of course in this scenario, it is not a violent upheaval.

The long awaited Luhambo album can now be added to jazz fanatics collections and treasures. Sydney Mavundla has released an offering to appease both his musicalities and a large following that has seen the trumpeter navigate swiftly around transitions and revolutions. Having an illustrious background added to his name and being in the session musician circuit for a while, S.S Mavundla has occupied seats both in classical and jazz bands. He has worked with Pharaoh Sanders, Yusuf Lateef,Bruce Cassidy and received tutelage from Arturo Sandoval. Despite the aforementioned the subtle giant deduced that it was never in fundamental existence to release a recording. Once again never proves to be a long time. In reference to why there was an extent of disinclination, the horn player extrapolates on how pretty much of the music has been expressed in the South African Jazz recordings. In essence Mavundla is implying that artists must not be replicas of their influence but the indirect and direct pedagogy of their precursors should grow a player’s sonority.

The sight of the hard-copy design and packaging is simple; there are no frills, just the personnel names and an image of himself and a close up of his burgundy horn. As per usual when glancing at an uncharted album it is the song that catches the eye. Rzuc Pan to Palenie (a Polish phrase translated to stop smoking) stuck out. The song was composed on the premise of a friend that had vowed he would quit smoking only if a tune is written on why the habit should be martyred. On the contrary, it could have been a clarion call for Bra Sydney to heed and document an album. Inevitably, in a definite time his friend gave up smoking cigarettes.

Opening the eleven song compact disc is Dream Mode, a cover arranged for the album. Again here, his skills as an arranger call for being well regarded. The chorus towards closing is demanding for his sidemen as the progression requires unequivocal assiduity. As with the title, limited concentration hinders our dreams from realization and fruition. Notwithstanding, the aforementioned his rhythm section and accompanying horn players are young and experienced.

On piano Afrika Mkhizes intrinsic fingering is as natural as an intransitive preposition throughout his fillings, preludes and solo takes. This is notable on Abafarisi. The township rendition spares no lashing on our hypocritical and deceitful bretheren for their traits: In temples they appear and walkabout in airy sprites, but in courts they are the biggest cherry-pickers. For a people to refute wicked ways, it is our minds first that should in order to seek the purpose of being saved.

Crispy rim-shots and textured timbres are born by Peter Auret. Here he brings his rhythmic and engineering contours to the recording. As one would expect, the cleanliness of his tuning and manifestation of the drummers ability is felt on various tunes. Hitting close to home is Nine N’suke Khayakini, whilst Emjindini’s delineated vibrancy actuates on to go and see such as place.

Sisonke Xonti’s blowing methods and harmonics make it impossible to box the saxophonist. Ranging Xonti would be a way of disarming ourselves of appreciating a susceptible, reasonable and a true sense of a horn player. Their pairing with Andreas Tshcopp, during his residency in the land, has been fruitful as they have featured as a collective on various shows outside the début album.

It is not all glitter when a musician is invited to lend their inspiration and an ear at a studio especially when they are around heavy weights.The ossciliation between fast growing Ariel Zamonksky and well versed Nhlanhla Neville Radebe gives new meaning and interpretation to alternative bass grammar.The two have surpassed challenges faced by artists when they are presented with new music. Their presence infers and filters growth.

Sydney Mavundla’s wizardry on Luhambo is overwhelming. Hearing the horner sing on the many layered Nidzakwa Kakhulu gives testimony there are numerous lines and phrases on the album yet to be explored .Ulundlu Lwenkosi Enkulu is quite an observance of a peoples gratitude.

When recommending a record to a fellow listener it is reasonable to expect a quarter of it to be enjoyable. As for this one, from first to last, it is a blast. The tacit structure and lyrics will be a favourable sound. Those in the know would utter “don’t step on Sibusiso Sydney Mavundla on this one, he is too hot……”

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