Selaelo Selota - Lapeng Laka

2010-03-02 08:22
Lapeng Laka

"While many music fans have had contact with traditional Xhosa or Zulu music, sePedi's folklore and folk music is still hidden from view," he explains. "I want to change that…This one is about my home."

And home is definitely where the (he)art is on this sublime celebration of Limpopo's roots music. The opening title track is a mellifluous piano 'n guitar greeting, with Selota's Pedi-sung lyrics complemented by a canvas of Tsonga-styled call-and-response choruses. "Tshipi Sepanere" sees the Sama-winning guitarist shelving the temptation to hide his homegrown chops in any imported smooth jazz clichés, steering his African riffs, plucks and picks through a meandering maskandi trance folk parable about women abuse.

As with any real jazz man, for Selota, the medium is always the message. Tuning into an animated Afro-futurist piano extrapolation such as "Sekgalajwana" or the delicate folk jazz ballad fusion of "Thusa Hle Malome" you soon start to realise that his penchant for spaced-in spirituality is the most complete musicalisation of "Proudly South African-ness" you'll hear all year.

"All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song," declared legendary jazz trumpeter Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong famously. African jazz guitarist Selaelo Selota agrees. But as a sePedi speaker he knows that living in a country with eleven official languages can mean that some folk music gets more airtime than others.

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