miércoles, 4 de noviembre de 2009

Letta Mbulu: Letta Mbulu Sings (1967) / Free Soul (1968)

With her performance at the Unity Festival Apartheid in 1991, Letta Mbulu returned triumphantly to her homeland of South Africa. Having been exiled, due to Apartheid, for more than a quarter century, Mbulu had gone from a teenager in the groundbreaking South African musical production King Kong of 1960 to one of the most influential singers to ever come out South Africa. In addition to recording such classic tracks as 'What is Wrong with Groovin’,' Mbulu added her soulful vocals to recordings and/or concerts with late jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderly, Michael Jackson, and Harry Belafonte. Mbulu, whose screen credits include, A Warm December and The Color Purple, performed the opening title track and most of the African music for the historical '70s miniseries Roots. During her lengthy exile, Mbulu remained committed to the music of her birth land. She helped to form South African Artists United (SAAU) in 1986, basing the group on the Union of South African Artists that grew from the African Jazz and Variety for whom she made her early debut. Mbulu's husband, Caiphus Semenya, who she met while touring with King Kong, plays an essential role in her music. Two of Mbulu best recordings are her debut album Letta Mbulu Sings (1967) and Free Soul (1968), both produced by David Axelrod. These albums were cut at a time when Axelrod was riding high for Capitol Records through work done with Cannonball Adderley and Lou Rawls, and both feature Rawls' arranger HB Barnum penning charts for Mbulu. It's an incredibly righteous work from Letta done in a very groovy '60s mode that goes way beyond the typical folksy treatment that other African soul singers were getting in the US at the time. The tunes on the set groove around in a nice bouncy mode throughout, making good use of Axelrod's sense of space and shape, and letting Letta's spectacular vocals step out in a setting that gives equal focus to American soul, African rhythms, and a hip globally-conscious vision. 20 tracks in all, including 'Pula Yetla', 'Mamani', 'My Son', 'Only When You're Mine Again', 'Kukuchi', 'What More Could Be Right', 'Where Does It Lead', 'West Wind', 'Qhinebe', 'Sexwaxwa', and 'Zola (Mra)'. For more Letta, look HERE. http://www.dustygroove.com/, http://www.allmusic.com/
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5 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...

http://rapidshare.com/files/302190493/Letta_Mbulu_-_Letta_Mbulu_Sings_-_Free_Soul__1967-68_.rar

Tyler dijo...

I am looking for an mp3 of Pat Lundy "City of Stone". Ive been looking evrywhere for it. I saw that you are in search of that album 'soul aint nothin but the blues' but I noticed you had the song in your ipod shuffle mix that plays on your blog. So if there is any way i could get that track it would be great! Thanks a lot, INCREDIBLE blog by the way

trakbuv dijo...

Thank you so much for highlighting one of my homeland's great crossover giants. These albums were way ahead of their time. Excellent selctions Nosi.

Nosi dijo...

I am sorry, Tyler, but I haven't got that particular song by Pat Lundy. You must notice I don't necessarily own all the songs that are played on my playlists (I wish I did!) Sorry!!

Nosi dijo...

trakbuv: I am very glad to pay tribute to great unknown (for many people, anyway) artists. As for Letta, I must admit I heard about her for the first time only a few months ago ... and I was astonished! She is an extraordinary singer and the fusion she does of African traditional music and American Soul is just brilliant.