Africa    Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


Africa    Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
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Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited
Chimurenga Rebel/Manhungetunge
Anonymous


By Paul-Emile Comeau

Published August 1, 2005

Imagine if Bob Marley were alive, recording double albums of top quality with a band as good as the original Wailers--and he lived in exile in Eugene, Oregon. That's close to what we have here. Mapfumo, who defined a sound and a tradition, an electrified, full-band, guitar-rich adaptation of old Shona mbira melodies, outlived the Zimbabwean revolution naming his music (Chumurenga) and most of the band members who helped him achieve that sound. He now lives about as far from the Zimbabwean bush as can be imagined, yet his powers as a songsmith, bandleader and arranger remain intact and unparalleled.

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