Indaba Is (Gatefold)
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The Zulu and Xhosa peoples of South Africa define an indaba as an important conference or consultation. An apt title, then, for this compilation of eight fresh tracks from the new school of black South African bands, whose fecund creativity parallels jazz scenes in other Brownswood-staked metropoli (London, Chicago, Melbourne) but whose emphasis on indigenous knowledge and engagement with the ongoing South African struggle also sets it apart.
Produced by pianist/vocalist Thandi Ntuli and bandleader Siyabonga Mthembu of erstwhile Shabaka Hutchings collaborators The Brother Moves On (both of whom feature), Indaba Is… was recorded over five days near Johannesburg. Titled for the slogan used to motivate the first post-apartheid vote, opener ‘Ke Nako’ (‘Now's the Time’) by the pianist Bokani Dyer sets out the album's stall, soaring with a hymnal majesty as choral chants blend with keys, sax and trumpet.