Fascinated by sound, intrigued by style, and pleasured by effect is the only way to script the magic I felt on the first spin of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s upcoming release on Heads Up called Long Walk To Freedom. Mambazo has significantly paid homage to the two decades of music that represented democracy in South Africa. Each cut has an emotional tie to their great culture and stunning talent. A powerful slice of production is in store for all to make their acquaintance in 2006.
Impressive are the guests that accompany this already multi-talented group as they add numerous new interpretations to these new originals. Crisp is the sound of Natalie Merchant on "Rain Rain Beautiful Rain"; just as refreshing is the unique signature placed by Melissa Etheridge on "Diamonds in the Soles of Her Shoes." Other surprises of value also filter through this recording. Long Walk For Freedom is a journey to short for the true fan of musical brilliance!
One special moment comes alive in the cut "Mbube" as Taj Mahal adds the classic electric string sound to this melody. This is a class in Innovative Arrangements 101, a cool and pulsating piece.... it catches the ear!
Emmy Lou Harris brings an extra beat to the heart with her duet with Mambazo in "Amazing Grace/Nearer My God To Thee"; outstanding feel and presentation will be how this cut is described.
I look for Ladysmith Black Mambazo to take Long Walk To Freedom to the highest peaks in the industry. However and more importantly is it brings the listener into a new dimension of style expanding their musical landscape.