Jazz in South Africa is having a great moment, one example being that the Blue Note jazz company launched a new sub-brand dedicated to music from this region.
Such is the importance of jazz in South Africa that this year’s BBC Annual British Proms Party will also dedicate an evening to South African songwriters, with famous trumpeter Marcus White.
Such an exhibition of South Africa has no precedent, except for a few isolated cases, such as that of the South African painter Gerard Sekoto, who used to play jazz in the bars of Paris in the 1940s.
Only the international careers of Myriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Maskila are some of the most famous musicians who sought post-apartheid exile, which consisted of the separation of whites and blacks. The South African Blue Notes were one of the bands that made a huge impact on the European jazz world from the 1960s onwards.
Today, South African jazz stands for Internationalism. Fortunately, he is no longer driven by repression as he was before. We can even enjoy it digitally, as in the case of an album finish the sunFrom the Maputa group led by bassist Shane Cooper.
This album is a demonstration of how South African jazz has the ability to connect with its listeners by looking in and out at the same time.
Maputa derives its name from the Japanese word for “eyelid,” which attempts to open a door between the conscious and the unconscious. The group has always been on the idea of crossing boundaries, questioning boundaries and transgressing them since the release of their first release Welcome to this world (2018).
In 2022, the South African band with Cooper on guitar, synthesizer and bass, as well as Buchani Dyer, Robin Fassi, Body Wells and Sisunke Exunti, working with great guests, especially drummers of Swedish, Dutch and Senegalese descent.
Authors finish the sun Created by Cooper, though the entire band is composed by solos.
The album typically uses elements that evoke national identity, ultimately speaking across all musical frontiers, as well as having a very distinctive lexicon for the South African country.
This is a sound that plays quickly, cyclical but at the same time combining modernity and tradition mixing electronic sounds with musical instruments.
On the other hand, Amshana is trying to convey an Afro-spirit trying to channel the soul of saxophonist Basil Mannenberg, using the organ in a different way, trying to remind soul brotherhood, although none of this is considered a tradition. , but as an example of the journey through time that these musicians take.
This is how the Maputa group, rather than setting musical, idiomatic or cult boundaries, makes them irrelevant and that is why they are one of the current figures helping South African jazz achieve such an infamous boom nowadays.
Mabuta music can be heard at https://mabuta.bandcamp.com
* With information from the conversation.
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