Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Chaminuka: Music From Zimbabwe
Genres: World Music, Pop
The Shona culture of Zimbabwe has vital traditions and a vibrant contemporary music scene. Dr. Dumisani Maraire has been teaching Americans and Zimbabweans about them for over 20 years, both academically and on stage. Dumi... more »
The Shona culture of Zimbabwe has vital traditions and a vibrant contemporary music scene. Dr. Dumisani Maraire has been teaching Americans and Zimbabweans about them for over 20 years, both academically and on stage. Dumi is a master of the mbira (thumb piano), whose rolling circular rhythms are heard on a number of tracks on this CD. His mature voice provides marvelous deep flowing counterpoint to the plucked metal keys of the mbira. Dumi is known for his establishment of marimba groups, and you'll find some wonderful marimba works here featuring his group Minanzi III. Outstanding songs on Chaminuka include the irresistible, life-affirming, marimba piece "Buka Njari," the lyrics of which advise fighting the self-destructive animal which resides within each of us; and the mbira song "Mwanangu Kura Uridze Mbira" ("I Want My Child to Grow Up to Play Mbira"), which stresses the importance of passing on cultural traditions to the next generation. --Jeff Grubb
Not an Introductory Album -- Work Your Way up to This One.
Stephen Foster | Seattle, WA United States, via Scotland | 06/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is (mostly) a solo album by the Master himself. It is pure, undistilled, classical mbira. If you are already familiar with the form, the cadences, the intervals of mbira music, and the rather odd way the vocals interact with the instrument, then you can stop searching right now -- you've found the Holy Grail (or you will have, when you track down a copy!)If, on the other hand, your ears are steeped in music of the Western tradition, then you'll probably find this a little dry and odd. What your ears will need is just a little education. Of music that is in print and readily available, I would recommend Thomas Mapfumo's "Live at El Rey," recorded when his band was fronted by two mbira players. The rest of the band is really an African rock 'n roll lineup, so it's a very different style than classical mbira (and some of the most danceable music ever created!), but it's a nice introduction to the style of the mbira.Once you're hooked, try to track down one or two of Dumi's marimba ensemble albums. They are criminally ALL out of print, and very rare, but worth any amount of effort to find. The most instantly-accessible album is "Dumi - The Maraire Marimba Ensemble" which was actually recorded in Seattle, with the ensemble composed mostly of Americans! I dare you to try standing still while it is playing.From there, the next step up is "African Story-Songs," published in 1969 by the University of Washington Press. It is composed of 8 story-songs, told in English by Dumi as he plays.Next is "Shona Spirit" - a Dumi CD that IS still in print. He plays duets with Ephat Mujuru -- another mbira master.Finally, there is this never-to-be-repeated album (Dumi sadly died on Thanksgiving, 1999), which by then you will be able to appreciate for the shining gem that it is."