Yep, it’s time for another installment of #ValueMusic.
Tumi Mogorosi, Project Elo (Jazzman 2014): I love everything about this. South African drummer and bandleader Tumi Mogorosi brings a wide range of elements together to craft an instant classic: accessible yet ear-stretching, new but grounded in the classics. It’s another facet of what A Love Supreme made possible: this time with a choir, and a guitar.
This is a good album to get on vinyl; it has a huge dynamic range, which the bastardized “Mastered For iTunes” format would surely destroy. Mastering for vinyl typically (but by no means necesasrily) involves less dynamic range compression — a key reason I am interested in buying new music on vinyl. You have to crank this record all the way up, and you’ll be rewarded with knowledge of every twitch of the bass player’s finger.
The arrangements are complex yet feel natural; every voice is in balance and in time. There is a risk that egg-head music like this will wallow in contrivance and lose sight of its inspiration, but Mogorosi avoids that fate and delivers a vibrant vision that feels classic yet new at every moment.
Credits: Tumi Mogorosi: drums; Thembinkosi Mavimbela: double bass; Sibusile Xava: guitar; Nhanhla Mahlangu: tenor sax; Malcom Jiyane: trombone; Themba Maseko: voice; Ntombi Sibeko: voice; Mary Moyo: voice; Gabsile Motuba: voice. All tracks composed by Tumi Mogorosi. Lyrics written by Gabisile Motuba and Tumi Mogorosi. Cover illustration: Kevin Neireiter; design: Andrew Symington.