Saxophonist Winston 'Mankunku' Ngozi's 1968 masterpiece Yakhal'inkomo stands in the front rank of global jazz recordings. A certified jazz classic in South Africa, it has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and has never been out of print. But like so many other crucial South African jazz LPs, it was never released outside the country, and went unheard at the time by the wider world.
The biggest volume so far in the Spiritual Jazz series from Jazzman Records – and maybe the best as well! This fantastic collection looks at the huge legacy of spiritual jazz that flowed from the Japanese scene in the postwar years – sounds that had their initial expression around the same time that the modal jazz of Miles and Coltrane was bursting forth in the US, but which also too so many twists and turns of its own – with some very strong influences along the way from Japanese folk and culture! Much of this music was initially restricted only to release on Japanese labels – and even later, as some of the artists attained fame, the global circulation of their music only happened with more commercial recordings.
Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman’s neat encapsulation of the Orpheus myth infuses his solo recording debut, ‘Songs of Orpheus.’ Orpheus, the greatest singer of all time, famously followed his deceased beloved Eurydice to the gates of Hades in an attempt to bring her back to life. He was thwarted by the gods who forbade him to gaze at her during their journey back to earth. he could not resist, and the tale has been told in numerous musical interpretations including those of Monteverdi and his 17th-century compatriots who are represented on this imaginative album, performed with leading baroque interpreters Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire. Acclaim for Karim Sulayman and Apollo’s Fire has been widespread: “the soloists and instrumentalists are first class” (BBC Music Magazine) “an absorbing collection of early music, beautifully performed by the Cleveland-based instrumental-choral ensemble and vocal soloists” (Chicago Tribune).