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Zimology - Live in Concert

2008-12-12 16:53
Live in Concert (USA)
Ubuntu utopianism? Maybe, but if any jazz man can walk the talk it’s Zim. Recorded back in 2003 when he was artist in resident at the University of Tennessee, this quartet outing is a mesmerising primer into the visionary South African composer’s ongoing quest to decolonise music from "ethnic cubicles".

Whether he's initiating an Afro-Nordic folk jazz conversation ("San Song"), resurrecting a sublime ancestral African spiritual ("Qula Kwedini"), or paying tribute to master American improvisers like Ellington and Coltrane by channelling Archie Shepp's blue note soaked reed rasp on an expressionist reading of Duke's classic ballad "In A Sentimental Mood", Zim fuses ancient African rhythms, Western classical architectures, Latin traditions and modern jazz into innovative, harmonious, and insistently spiritual expressions in sound.

Nowhere more so than on the show-stopping "Migrant Worker Suite" where he deftly sidesteps any accusations of avant-garde elitism by sculpting a bewitching pentatonic brew where the sounds from the African Diaspora come together to celebrate the very (he)art of creative improvisation.

- Miles Keylock

"I have always believed that the spirituals – gospels, blues, jazz, stride, maskanda, marabi, funk, mbaqanga, salsa, Latin – have the same roots and one day all will meet. They finally met at this concert!" writes master saxophonist Zim Ngqawana in the liner notes to this double live CD.

What to read next: Kalahari


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