(Heads Up – 2007)
by Stacey Drake Edwards
Louis Mhlanga “World Traveller” features Orchestra Baobab, Ernest Ranglin, Oliver Mtukudzi, Habib Koite, Busi Mhlong and Chiwonsio Maraire. Mhlanga is based in South Africa and all of his songs are little stories; about family, about the situation of Africans in their homeland and about reflecting on living a good life.
Mhlanga is smooth and mellow, so if you like to take a little time to chill out now and than, this is the one for you. In addition to the smoothness, his range of musicality is enjoyable and his use of many different African and European artists, vocalists and instruments comes together to make this a CD full of light and uplifting songs. I especially enjoyed his collaboration with Orchestra Boabob.
World Traveller is an appropriate name for this release considering the use of different musicians, different cultural cues and different vocalists. For true jazz lovers, I wouldn’t say that this is a true “jazz” album, rather it is more “world music.” I enjoyed this CD, it made feel transported to a different place. If you are a lover of world music with a jazz influence, take a listen, it would be worth it. Enjoy!