MATS -UP AND MBUSO KHOZA " IVOVO"
“Ivovo” is the brand-new album of the Swiss band MATS-UP in which Matthias Spillmann and his fellow musicians explore the sounds of South Africa together with the singer Mbuso Khoza.
«South Africa’s music has always fascinated me. Little else influenced me as deeply, in a musical and a spiritual way, as the projects I had with South African artists as well as the concerts I played there.
Jazz in South Africa has a significant value because it’s one of the very few fields in which people of different colours, ethnics and backgrounds cooperated on an equal basis, even during the apartheid system.
Mbuso’s voice is totally unique and extremely versatile.
His melodic ingenuity and his story-telling abilities are endless, his virtuosity not being a purpose on itself. Anything he sings sounds completely natural and fresh. In same time, he knows KwaZulu Natal music, that of his origins, like nobody else.
For years on, he investigated and studied the songs of Her Majesty, Magogo kaDinzulu who, as a woman - known as Princess Magogo - was a unique figure among the “imbongi” (the praise singers). Mbuso Khoza brought some of her songs along and while adapting those for the band, I let myself be guided by the sounds and expressions of Mbuso’s voice rather than by the effective content of the songs. Thus, I tried to integrate Mbuso into the sounds of the band we developed over the years, the airs composed for him inspired solely by his great voice and spirit. Group improvisation has always been and is a key element of our music. On this album, you’ll also hear some tracks which are the result of spontaneous improvisation that happened at the recording studio.»
The music of «MATS-UP» combines both the broad sonic landscape of a chamber ensemble with the vitality and interaction of a jazz combo. Thanks to their longstanding interplay and intense performances in over 250 live concerts, the members of this group have developed an extraordinary unity and the ability to react to each other with rare swiftness and sensibility.
.. is one of South Africa’s leading singers. He combines a deep knowledge of the rich vocal tradition and history of KwaZulu Natal, his origin, with a rare gift for improvisation.
He performed in Europe with the Dutch pianist Mike Del Ferro as well as his long-term pal, the bass player Carlo Mombelli. All fans of Electronic Dance Music will know Mbuso’s voice from, at least, the latest album by the South African superstar Black Coffee.
Mbuso grew up with his aunt in Eshowe
where, working as shepherd boy, he found out
that he had a singing talent. “I discovered that
I could guide the animals with my voice. They
reacted much more to my singing then to my
words”, he recalls. By the age of sixteen, he moved to Johannesburg where he literally started his career on the streets. Today, he dedicates himself to research and preservation of traditional Zulu songs called Amahubo, true national treasures. Mbuso Khoza leads the ‘KZN African Heritage Ensemble’ which performs successfully throughout Africa.
The Nature Of The Blues (2016 Unit Records)
Life Is Live – Life at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club (2014 Unit Records)
MATS-UP plays Psalms by SAID (2012 Unit Records)
«5» (2009 Unit Records)
Same Pictures – New Exhibition; MATS-UP plays music of Modest Illitsch Musorgsky (2006 Unit Records) In The Beginning (2005 Altrisuoni)
Something About Water (2000 JHM Records)
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