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Mashasha CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, CD, 15 Jul 2011
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 July 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Elegwa Music
  • ASIN: B00584UEY0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,408,260 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Emerita
  2. Baba
  3. Huwi
  4. Gutegu
  5. Mambakwedza
  6. Teerera
  7. Mweya
  8. Tisunungurei Muhusungo
  9. Mazvita
  10. Mangwanani

Product description

Product Description

With his groundbreaking, audacious debut album, Zimbabwean artist MASHASHA introduces himself as an unmissable new voice on the African music scene. Previously known in music circles as remarkable bass player and guitarist, this debut album reveals Mashasha to be a superb singer and songwriter, as well a compelling personality. There is a sense of drama and purpose in his bass playing, a sense of urgency in his voice. Mashasha s music has very deep Zimbabwean roots, but his fresh take is not in any of the typical Zimbabwean genres or styles. The tracks on the album are undeniably personal: at once both intimate and radical. The unrelenting sadness is mixed with a sense of exhilaration and adventure. It is not a typical African dance-floor album, but it is rich, layered and very accessible music which rewards repeated listening.


The eponymous Mashasha will likely prove 2011's standout African debut. A phenomenal, marvellously musical bassist, the young Zimbabwean also sings superbly. His songs are exuberant, yet poignant. To hear Mashasha is to know that soon he will no longer have to 'work long hours in the factories of England's industrial heartland.' Like many other freedom-loving Zimbabweans, his dangerous life at home has become an impoverished one, abroad. Life is still a financial struggle, but his album's diverse array of notable players tells you word is out that 'Harare's most in-demand session bass-player' is much, much more than just a hotshot bassist. His electric bass is incredible, but just one element in an eclectic, subtle tapestry. Other players include one of the great African-American trombonists, an Iranian master of the ney and two remarkable drummers - one Zimbabwean, the other Australian. Peter Mujuru was born in the Old Highfield area of Zimbabwe's capital. Since childhood he has been known as Mashasha. His nickname translates roughly as 'skills of a champion.' --Doug Spencer, ABC Radio National Website

The gorgeous Malian singer Rokia Traore once observed that she wanted to be known just as a singer and songwriter, not an African singer-songwriter. The world music phenomenon has opened our ears to sounds from around the globe but it has also inclined us to define music not from here Antipodes/US/ Britain primarily by nationality. Peter Mashasha is, first and foremost, an outstanding singer, songwriter, bassist and acoustic guitarist. He happens to come from Zimbabwe, and is now a political exile eking out a living in England. His Zimbabwean heritage, of course, informs the stories and imagery of his lyrics, just as it informs his rhythms and melodies. But what primarily hits you about Mashasha s music is the velvet quality of his voice (singing lyrics in Shona, with printed English translations), the slipperiness of his bass lines, the sophistication of the conception and the charm of its execution. His collaborators come from far and wide. Drummer Sam Chagumachinyi (Zimbabwe) makes the rhythms sparkle, as does electric guitarist Jeannot Mendy (Dakar). There are features for the American trombonist-trumpeter Ku-umba Frank Lacy and the Iranian ney (reed flute) master Davod Varzideh. Locals Robbie Avanaim, Danny G. Felix and Ray Pereira also participate, thanks to the involvement of Australian producer Eugene Ulman, who has contributed to a sumptuous recording quality. Enchanting. --John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean artiste Mashasha has released his debut album on gthe Elegwa Music record label. Mashasha is best known in Zimbabwean music circles as a bass player and his new self-titled 10-track CD is a testimony to his guitar prowess, a unique work that falls outside any of the typical genres. Arguably the first truly original musical voice to emerge from the Zimbabwean diaspora, the album is deeply Zimbabwean in its feel, yet radically different from anything currently produced on the home front. The unusual arrangements include the instrumentation of guitars, keyboards and bass (with Mashasha playing multiple bass lines on several tracks), but are enriched with powerful brass section (dominated by trombones), the ethereal ney (a reed flute from Iran), some inventive percussion and Mashasha's own rich, complex vocals. The lyrics are poetic and unpredictable, dealing with themes such as the pain of missing home and family, relationships between generations, the conflict between the powerful and the powerless as well as social issues. Outstanding tracks include the sad and deeply-moving Baba, in which a child cries out to a father that he does not know, The touching and very danceable Teerera about relationships between generations, the striking, rhythmically complex opening track Emerita, which deals with the subject of guilt and confession, the haunting Mweya which is about death and the spirit, and the epic Mazvita, which has the entire band intensify to the level of frenzy. The gospel-tinged Mambakwedza is sure to be a favourite with those who love classic Zimbabwean sounds. The final cut Mangwanani, on which the vocals are accompanied by acoustic guitar and calabash only, shows that Mashasha can take the simplest idea to a sublime level, even without a large band complex arrangements. The album was co-produced by Mashasha and Eugene Ulman, who took the time to craft the album with great care and attention to detail, bringing together a remarkable all-star band. The band included American jazz legend Ku-umba Frank Lacy (who has played with Abdullah Ibrahim, Art Blakey, Branford Marsalis, Mutabaruka, Black Uhuru, Erykah Badu and many more), Iranian flute master Davod Varzideh and virtuoso Zimbabwean drummer/percussionist (and a fellow ex-member of Too Open) Sam Chagumachinyi. Sam plays on half of the songs on the album, while the other half features Australian experimental drummer and percussionist Robbie Avenaim, who has performed in Zimbabwe at the Harare International Festival of the Arts. Senegalese electric guitar whiz Jeannot Mendy (lead guitarist for Vivianne N'Dour and Didier Awadi) appears on two tracks, and the keyboardist - the superb Danny G Felix, provides magic touches throughout the album. One of the most appealing aspects about Mashasha is his confidence that the music will speak for itself. This is an album for genuine music lovers - there are no marketing gimmicks here: no branding, no celebrity duets or guest rappers. As producer Eugene Ulman commented, this is not a typical afro-jazz album but one that takes Zimbabwean jazz to a new level. It is exciting, captivating music enjoyed even more with repeated listening. --Costa Mano, The Zimbabwe Herald

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17 January 2012
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