Shabaka Hutchings – tenor sax. / Mthunzi Mvubu – alto sax. / Mandla Mlangeni – trumpet / Siyabonga Mthembu – vocals / Nduduzo Makhathini – piano / Ariel Zamonsky – bass / Gontse Makhene – percussion / Tumi Mogorosi – drums
Recorded at Sumo Sounds Studio; Johannesburg, South Africa
Brownswood Recordings, 2016
Shabaka Hutchings grew up between Barbados and Birmingham, England before becoming a major figure in the contemporary London jazz scene. Apparently, as a young child, he picked up the clarinet and was soon playing along to versus by Biggie and Tupac. He has come a long way since. Today he plays alongside other Atlas favorites like: fellow London jazzsters Matthew Halsall and Yussef Kamaal (ie Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams); new school Americans Makaya McCraven and Kamasi Washington; the legendary Mulatu Astatke – among many others.
For this album, Shabaka travelled to South Africa to record with a handful of like-minded musicians. He labels his style “Afro-Futurism” – think of it as a fusion of Sun Ra and the spiritual side of John Coltrane with a heavy influx of Afro-Caribbean and South African jazz as well as elements of quirky-modern-electronica, AfroBeat and much more. The interplay between the band members is seamless as the sound travels throughout, or rather within, so many genres.