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The Village by Monoswezi
Released: Jan 2013
Label: Riverboat
Monoswezi is so interesting conceptually that it’s easy to focus only on that: This collective of musicians from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Norway and Sweden interweave Southern African traditions with jazz, contemporary classical and soul under a moniker that means “One World.” And you can certainly hear all those influences: sax swells dancing with plinking mbiras on “Hondo,” the slinking bass and interlocking percussion on “Mapfunde,” the funked-up marimbas of “Heya!” But be sure to also get out of your head and let the gorgeous, quietly complex sound that concept generates just wash over you.
Rachel Devitt