Africa Straight Ahead
A Collection of Africa’s Finest
(Heads Up – 2003)
by Sidney Bechet-Mandela
Scheduled to coincide with the historic ten year anniversary of the end of apartheid, Africa Straight Ahead spotlights some of South Africa’s leading jazz musicians playing their own compositions. This is the latest recording in the Heads Up Africa series and it continues to expand on the theme. Combining hard bop, swing and soul with the essence of Africa, this CD includes some of Africa’s most noted jazz musicians jammin’ like the sun was about to come up!
The players: Darius Brubeck & Afro Cool Concept, Hotep Idris Galeta, Paul Hanmer, Moses Khumalo, McCoy Mrubata, Bheki Mseleku, Andy Narell, Zim Ngqawana, The Sheer All Stars, Voice and Marcus Wyatt.
The result: One hell of an album. Straight out of the nightclub and into your room, this is sweet jazz at it’s free-grooving best.
“These artists have been through so much since the dark days of apartheid, but their music is full of beauty and joy,” says Dave Love, president of Heads Up and creator of the Heads Up Africa series. Kudos to Love for having the vision and daring to bring us this remarkable series. The cover art features an African illustration by Frank Morrison.