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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Universal 016 959-2

Guitars & Vocals: Jimmy Dludlu
Alto/Soprano Sax: Moreira Chonguica
Bass Guitar: Fana Zulu 1,3,4,5,11,12
Lucas Khumalo 6,8,9
Acoustic Bass: Charles Lazar 7,10
Percussion: John Hassan 2,5,6,8,11,13
Tlale Makhene
Piano & Keyboards: Mark Goliath 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,11,13
Mark Fransman 1,7,10,12
Drums: Frank Paco 4,6,11,13
Kessivin Naidoo 7,10,12
Trumpet: Hugh Masekela 3
Feya Faku 9
Strings: Soweto String Quartet
Vocals: Melanie Scholtz 10
Poetry: Duma Ndlovu 3
1. Afrocentric
2. I Wish I Knew
3. River of Lost Dreams
4. Inyoni iyaphapha
5. Common Dialogue
6. Walk of Life
7. Library in Flames
8. Simone
9. One in Between
10. Peaceful Moment
12. Mdantsane
13. The Wood That Sings of Sorrow

"Jimmy stands side by side with the guitar masters of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Django Reinhardt. That he is confined to South Africa is a great loss to the rest of the world. I hope that his record company will have the vision to market him internationally because he will certainly break down many walls. Jimmy is here to stay." by Hugh Masekela.

Having listened to this disc on several occasions I can only agree with Mr. Masekela's opinion of Dludlu's talent and echo his sentiments regarding more universal recognition of this truly outstanding musician. Until I received this issue I was completely unaware of this remarkably accomplished guitarist but I am now convinced that he is a name to look out for in future. Whilst Hugh Masekela's claims might seem somewhat extravagant I think anyone who listens to this record will be compelled to agree. All of the influences cited can be heard in Jimmy Dludlu's performances and yet he has managed to develop and mould all of this into a highly personal style.

The music on this disc, while having its roots in Jazz, transcends the boundaries of categorisation and is Dludlu's own take on a blend of various idioms. All of the tunes are his own compositions with the exceptions of "One In Between", which he co-wrote with Mark Goliath, and "Simone" which was written by George Lee. "Afrocentric" has great choral effects and, apart from the leader, features excellent solos from Moreira Chonguica and piano from Mark Goliath. "I Wish I Knew " has Benson-like scat during the theme and guitar solo - which would serve to strip paint with its heat and intensity. "Inyoni iyaphapha" is an intriguing mixture of Brazilian samba/bossa nova and African influences. This is particularly fascinating as the roots of the samba are from Africa . Of course there is a feeling of "High Life " music, in the style of Abdullah Ibrahim, throughout this disc. The standard of the accompanying musicians is excellent on all selections but I am afraid this disc is really all about one person !

Dick Stafford.

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