Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Talking Mbira: Spirits of Liberation
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Plenty of artists claim to play "trance music," but Zimbabwe's Stella Chiweshe delivers the genuine article. Portions of her repertoire come straight from the religious rituals of the Shona people, and audience members at ... more »
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Plenty of artists claim to play "trance music," but Zimbabwe's Stella Chiweshe delivers the genuine article. Portions of her repertoire come straight from the religious rituals of the Shona people, and audience members at her concerts have claimed spontaneous healings or visits from spirits in response to the beautiful melodies she coaxes from her mbira "thumb piano." Even if you don't experience supernatural effects, a few moments of Chiweshe's delicate but powerful playing will surely raise your bliss levels by a factor of 10. She pioneered the practice of blending mbiras and marimbas in ensemble performances and is the most famous woman band leader in Zimbabwe. Talking Mbira shows her in full command of her talents. The nicely balanced blend of material ranges from the tradition-based opening song "Ndabaiwa" to modern fare like "Chachimurenga," a chimurenga liberation song that gets a "Future Mix" dub-style treatment courtesy of Hijaz Mustapha of the 3 Mustaphas 3. Inspired by dream visits from her late brother, Elfigio, Chiweshe layers her meditative mbira on "Ndangariro" for a densely interwoven sound more intricate than a tapestry. "Paite Rima," a plea for world peace addressed to potent lion spirits, eschews instrumentation for stirring vocal harmonies reminiscent of Zulu songs, while "Tapera" uses deeply textured mbira and a distant chorus to lament the natural disasters and political turmoil of her home country. --Bob Tarte.
Hypnotic mbira rhythms
Muk | Azusa, CA United States | 04/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Enough has been said about Stella Chiweshe bucking tradition to become the first female gwenyambira. I'll just add she's the only solo mbira player who gives me the full hypnotic effects of a duo or trio. So the mbira solos on this alum are greatly appreciated. The problem is there are only four (1, 4, 7, 10), five if you include the excellent Nhamoimbiri, which has western drums and vocals. I'll be honest. I don't like marimba, they remind me of high school bands and their ultra-fast melodies are intrusive. So for me, they take away from some of the songs here, Chachimuranga, Manja and in particular Musandifungise, a great great song which is marred by an uptempo midsection where marimba feature prominently. But that's my only complaint though. Other pluses are that the lady can straight up sing, as the a capella Kune Rima attests. Or the pseudo South African vocal stylings on Uchiseka, which also has some Zim style guitar work. Also check out the super bass produced by the mbira on Tapera. Trippy."
Powerful, moving roots mbira music
Chris B. Knaus | 01/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album blew me away - if you've never heard mbira, this is a great album to begin with. Her music reminds me of Oliver Mtukudzi with her upbeat, yet somehow knowingly somber tones. Some nights she lulls me to sleep (Ndabaiwa),while others she wakes me up and readies me for the day (Uchiseka).
Through this album, Ambuya Stella Chiweshe reminds us that living requires breathing and through her voice and mbira, Stella Chiweshe gives us hope."