Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O: UMDALI (Mushroom Hour Half Hour, 2021)

January 21, 2022 at 6:58 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O: UMDALI

South African composer, trombonist, vocalist, pianist, and arranger Malcolm Jiyane leads an ensemble of more than three musicians with his debut album. Shaped by the deaths of his mentor and a bandmate as well as the birth of his daughter, Jiyane’s album contains five lengthy compositions which flow from solemn mourning to joyful celebration. Opener “Senso seNkosi” is somewhat funereal, but “Umkhumbi kaMa” picks up after a soft but spirited beginning, eventually howling with delight. “State Gwangwa’s Stroll” starts out calm but also has a loud squeal from a squeaky toy, and it gradually warms up to a light shuffle, then cools down again by the end, when Jiyane beams in with encouraging vocals. “Life Esidimeni” is a lengthy procession which feels like it takes time to properly mourn loss while also getting caught up in amazing memories and celebrating. “Moshe” is another bittersweet one that gets especially heavenly with the addition of Tubatsi Mpho Moloi’s vocals.

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