World Saxophone Quartet
Label : JUST // Jazz // 1999-06-25
M’Bizo ’s reason for
existence is twofold and intertwined. “The M’Bizo Suite” itself was written and
choreographed specifically for a 1998 World Cup Carnavalcade held in northern
France; this accounts for the theme of European-Asian-African unity, and may
help explain the heartening robustness of the disc. As explained by
Sobering conceits often result in anthemic sloganeering at the expense of musical grace, but with M’Bizo, it’s as if the WSQ and their South African guests internalized the notions of Unity to the point of complete unity of performance. The entire album, true to jazz and to African music, moves like a conversive dance, where the opening gumshoe vocal/Makhoyane-instrument tandem of “Snanapo” is transferred to drums/bass, the horns reduce everything to ecstatic chaos before building melodic statements, given extra harmony and darker shadings by the keyboards, until the listener realizes that behind all this American Jazz Freedom the original South African segment had formed a spine that the WSQ had fleshed out.
The Suite itself is built on the simple chant of “Africa-Europe-Asia” plus
wordless syllables, presented first in a slow tempo, then doubled for
“Sizelapha”. The album’s richest harmonies and melodies explode in the last two
tracks. “Mashidiso” is especially touching.
-Derrick A. Smith
|02||M'Bizo Suite - Part 1: Africa-Europe-Asia||8:05|
|03||M'Bizo Suite - Part 2: Sizelapha||3:18|
|04||M'Bizo Suite - Part 3: M'Bizo||12:39|