Time for Max­olo’s cool jazz

The Mercury - - GOODLIFE -

Billy Suter MIX of songs from her pop­u­lar de­but al­bum Time, as well as jazz stan­dards of a lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional flavour, are on the bill for ac­claimed jazz vo­cal­ist Lindiwe Max­olo’s con­cert this evening at the Cen­tre for Jazz and Pop­u­lar Mu­sic on the Dur­ban cam­pus of the Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Natal.

Sched­uled for 5.30pm for 6pm, the event will see Max­olo share the spot­light with dou­ble-bass ace Them­binkosi Mav­im­bela, trum­peter Sthe Bhengu, drum­mer Lungile Kunene and pi­anist Ja­cob Thomo.

The venue is on the sec­ond level of the cam­pus’s Shep­stone Build­ing.

Max­olo, who last per­formed lo­cally early last year, ac­com­pa­ny­ing Mbuso Khoza at the Jazzy Rain­bow and Pine­town’s Rain­bow Restau­rant, is on a five­province tour of South Africa.

She will visit East Lon­don and Port El­iz­a­beth af­ter tonight’s gig, which marks the start of her tour. Then she heads for Cape Town, Polok­wane and Bloem­fontein.

Al­though she is plan­ning video shoots and a new al­bum later in the year, she is con­cen­trat­ing now on shar­ing her mu­sic and, be­sides tour­ing, also hopes to make some fes­ti­val ap­pear­ances soon.

Born in the far south of Gaut­eng, a town­ship called Boipa­tong – “Yes, the one that Brenda Fassie wrote and sang about” – Max­olo first cut her teeth singing at church and school per­for­mances, and knew from an early age that she wanted to make singing a ca­reer.

Since at­tain­ing her honours de­gree in jazz mu­sic (cum laude) at UCT, she has

Abeen rid­ing a wave of suc­cess, re­sult­ing in Time, her de­but jazz collection.

The al­bum was nom­i­nated for a South African Mu­sic Award (Sama) for best new jazz al­bum last year, a cat­e­gory won by Her­bie Tsoaeli’s African Time.

“I was so grate­ful and elated when I heard about that nom­i­na­tion. It’s a tes­ta­ment to ev­ery­one who worked on the al­bum,” she says.

She says she was thrilled Tsoaeli scooped the award as it was he who fea­tured on dou­ble-bass on all the tracks on her al­bum.

“Record­ing Time in­de­pen­dently opened my eyes, and as­sisted in my growth pro­fes­sion­ally and as an artist.

“It stretched me so much… in­cred­i­bly so,” she adds.

The collection was recorded in 2011 at the SABC’s Auck­land Park record­ing stu­dios and the Mavovo Stu­dio which is owned by mu­si­cian Themba Mkhize.

“The al­bum’s over­rid­ing theme is to be re­flec­tive on spir­i­tual mat­ters and love for mankind, and to be in­spi­ra­tional,” says Max­olo, who wrote seven of the 13 fea­tured songs.

“It was an hon­our to have gi­ants of the in­dus­try work­ing on the al­bum – the likes of Johnny Chonco, Jo­han Mthethwa, Tsoaeli, Ayanda Sikade, Mthunzi Mvubu, Andile Ye­nana, Mbuso Khoza, Mal­colm Jiyani, Sisa Sop­hazi and Maxwell Vidima, led by the in­cred­i­ble Nduduzo Makhathini.”

Max­olo has dab­bled in Afro-jazz, pop and gospel mu­sic, but it is jazz and gospel that re­main her pas­sion.

Vo­cally, she has been de­scribed as “a cross be­tween Ta­nia Maria and Ou­mou San­gare, with Busi Mh­longo’s sen­si­bil­i­ties – pitchy and in­fused with the con­fi­dence of some­one who’s com­fort­able with fronting a high-brow jazz trio”.

Her achieve­ments have in­cluded win­ning the 2002 Afro Vo­cal cat­e­gory in the Old Mu­tual Jazz En­coun­ters Com­pe­ti­tion; open­ing for the leg­endary Lee Rite­mour; work­ing with Si­bongile Khu­malo and Mkhize on their project called Soul ’n’ Turf; and per­form­ing with the UCT Big Band. She also co-founded Joburg jazz band Chilli & Lime.

Ad­mis­sion for this evening’s con­cert is R40 (R20 for se­nior cit­i­zens, R15 for stu­dents). Tick­ets are avail­able at the door. For more in­for­ma­tion, phone Thuli at 031 260 3385.

Lindiwe Max­olo per­forms from 6pm to­day on the Dur­ban cam­pus of the Univer­sity of KwaZulu-Natal.

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