The sound and spirit of Zimbabwe and Mozambique runs through the heart of Timbila and Chartwell Dutiro’s double album collection Sadza with the Head of a Mouse. The combination of the timbila and mbira, supported by violin and guitar, gives an immense amount of texture to the music.
After spreading their sound to the world on Rising Tide, Mokoomba return with Luyando, an album which alters their approach slightly but ends up revealing a group that continues to grow more dynamic with each release. Their enthusiasm and technique is exemplary and their second album hits the mark.
Vieux Farka Touré returns with a balanced collection of ten original compositions recorded in front of a small audience in Woodstock, NY for the Woodstock Sessions. The setting draws the best out of this ensemble, giving the musicians a natural confidence that is transferred directly to the record.
The cool aesthetic of Bandakadabra is immediately evident by their matching black suits with white shirts and skinny black ties. Dubbed an “Urban Brass Band,” this ensemble from Torino, Italy sets their sights on all sorts of brass music, from ragtime and jazz to Balkan, rocksteady, and Latin on their rousing live recording, Entomology.
Seydou Diabaté, aka Kanazoé, unleashes his technique on the balafon with a talented ensemble on Kanazoé Orkestra’s debut full-length release, Miriya. This well-produced set reveals a young group that is brimming with confidence and joy.