A native of Soweto Township outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon's "Graceland") creates a singular electric fretless bass sound that teems with double stops that sound like human voices and the African grooves of his homeland and has garnered him a stellar reputation as a sideman. In addition to touring with Simon on his current North American tour, he's also recorded and/or toured with the likes of Gloria Estefan, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, Gerald Albright, Miriam Makeba, Josh Groban and Chris Botti. Kumalo breaks fertile new ground with his latest CD, 'Transmigration,' on Guru Project. "This record is me," says the leader, who is based in Long Island, New York. "On my earlier albums, I played a lot of African songs, for this new project, I wanted to show the other side of me. I wanted to try something different, to show my bass style, to play melodies on my bass and to showcase the wide range of music that moves me." Produced by Chris Pati, who also performs throughout the disc, 'Transmigration' displays Kumalo's multifaceted talent in a variety of jazz-infused, deep-grooved musical settings including those steeped in contemporary/lyrical jazz, R&B funk and straight-ahead acoustic jazz (with Kumalo setting aside his electric bass for an upright acoustic) as well as an African rhythm jam. "Every track is different," says Kumalo, who in addition to bass plays keyboards, drums and a variety of percussion instruments. "Some albums stick to having a certain sound, with all the songs having a similar feel but I wanted to show all the sides of my playing."