UK Release Date: 1 September 2003
A sensational new band and album featuring members of the legendary South African percussion ensemble Amampondo and powerhouse saxophonist Alan Skidmore.
In October 2002, four years after Alan Skidmore travelled to Cape Town to record with Amampondo - South Africa's leading Xhosa band - he reunited with percussion masters Simpiwe Matole, Michael Ludonga, Mandla Lande, Mzwandile Qotoyi and Risenga Makondo to begin work on the follow-up to their highly acclaimed debut album, The Call.
Now named UBIZO - roughly translated from the Xhosa it means the call (as in the vocational sense) - the band performed a short UK tour before entering the studio to record a much anticipated set of original compositions and South African traditional tunes.
Commenting on the new album, Alan Skidmore said, 'As the first British jazz musician to visit South Africa after the abolition of apartheid, I was in a very special, privileged position. After years of segregation I was free to explore jazz with the people whose traditions are the roots of jazz. We were able to play together to discover, develop and share the unique universal language of jazz, a mixture of diverse cultures blending seamlessly in one art form.
Ubizo is the result of that exploration, a very natural music, demonstrating a communication and understanding that crosses cultural and political divides.
Jazz achieves this: Jazz is the "Jewel of Africa" a very precious inheritance which, with this recording, I gratefully acknowledge.'
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