Saturday, November 2, 2013

CD Review: Kheswa & Her Martians' 'Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz'

Kheswa & Her Martians
Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz

Kheswa & Her Martians bring us a writhing mix of South African jazz grooves abundant with piano, guitar, trumpet, sax, bass, drums, and some vocals. The opener, "Tshona," is an instrumental delight with giddy grooves, punchy sax, and classic piano chords matched with swishy percussion and South African charm. "Ntyilo Ntyilo" is a classic jazz song with great vocals and a bouncing piano melody that sparkles with post-Apartheid soul. "Malaika" is a popular song throughout Africa with many covers done over the years by many different artists. This tune is slow, classic, and jazzy with little instrumentation. "Simon" is a richly-textured with up-beat, jazzy rhythms. Vocally, Kheswa is akin to Benin's Angelique Kidjo. The entire album was recorded live at Joe's Pub in New York City on July 14, 2013. Fans of South African jazz, world jazz, and African music in general will love Kheswa & Her Martians. ~ Matthew Forss 

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