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Wouter Kellerman, Mzansi (self-released)




Wouter Kellerman, Mzansi (self-released)


10/24/13
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 You don’t have to get all your New Age-sounding CDs at expensive gift shops, not sure if you knew that. For instance, here we have 13 songs from a fedora-topped flutist from South Africa whose fame crested in 2010 when he performed at the FIFA World Cup closing ceremony in front of 170 million TV viewers. His world-music bread and butter can sound a bit academically sterile at times, but he’s all full of curve balls, like the partially beatboxed “Khokho,” in which the players slap their cheeks and tap their skulls to elicit percussion. Mostly though, it’s dreamy organic jamming to African rhythms over which his classical flute runs zip and barrel-roll, the middle often held up by an odd zydeco vibe comprised of unplugged guitar. In the end, it is, of course, a showcase for his soloing, and he’s certainly earned the right — he’s obviously a wonk about it and isn’t afraid to let us hear his entire respiratory system (“After Hours”).  Non-African-chant-powered songs include a friendly one-drop reggae tune (“Mama Tembu”) and Mongezi Mbele’s rapping-for-the-sake-of-rapping on the heavily jazz-centric “Fire Drill.” A — Eric W. Saeger






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