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Shanda by Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi is a singer/guitarist from Zimbabwe specializing in a style of known as Chimurenga, a fusion of tradition mbira (sometimes referred to as African thumb piano) music, adapted to the electric guitar, and South African folk & pop styles, along with touches of reggae. He has a voice that’s squarely in the "mellow rasp" tradition of Otis Redding and Toots Hibbert (of Toots & the Maytals), imploring yet comforting, defiant yet hopeful. The guitars are metrical, driving yet mellow in tone, sparkling luminously (imagine if Jerry Garcia had grown up in Africa) in the manner of modern Afro-pop (i.e., Thomas Mapfumo, King Sunny Ade), and dance over the languid yet propulsive rhythms that sound like they could go on forever. Shanda is a marvelous cross-section of live recordings from the 1970s through 2000, featuring his spot-on guitars/female chorus/keyboards/bass/drums/percussion accompaniment. While a star in his homeland and popular in Europe, Oliver Mtukudzi is not super-well-known to American audiences - this collection, hopefully, will remedy that somewhat. Whether you’re a fan of modern African sounds or a just beginning to dip into the waters of World Music, Shanda is a righteous investment for your entertainment dollar.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Oliver Mtukudzi
  • CD Title: Shanda
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Reissue Original Release: 2002
  • Record Label: Alula
  • Rating: Five Stars
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