Moses Molelekwa - Darkness Pass 1

2007-08-15 13:48
Mololekwa was a brilliant pianist - a genius perhaps. Every recording of his is worth hearing. Until this one.

Darkness Pass was recorded secretly, while Mololekwa was improvising. Which is unfair, on Molelekwa, surely? We all want to be a fly on the wall of our musical hero’s rehearsal room, but recording a musician while they're unaware, then releasing the work after their death just isn’t cool.

While his brilliance still shines though, Darkness Pass creates a negative impression of Mololekwa's playing. Usually flawless, yet natural and expressive, he fluffs a few things here and there, crunching notes and meandering as he thinks out loud (on disk two more so than on disk one). His amazing talent is still obvious, and this CD is still one most jazz fans should hear – it’s fascinating. But hearing Mololekwa practicing and improvising instead of performing feels somehow dirty, like watching a great porn star's private home sex video.

Don't make this your first purchase of his work and don’t judge Mololekwa by it. It may not, in fact, be a cynical misuse of the Molelekwa Magic, but it sure sounds like it.

Recommended instead:
Genes and Spirits Finding One’s Self Live at Nantes Fin de Siecle Festival

- Jean Barker

Collectably depressing the cover features Moses in Kurt Cobain-like, troubled innocent, candid black and white picture mode. Smells like a cash in.

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