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Five tracks that inspired South‑African guitarist Sibusile Xaba

Open Letter to Adoniah/Unlearning’ Sibusile Xaba is an excellent debut (double) album.

« A lynchpin in South Africa’s new generation of jazz musicians, KwaZulu-Natal-born guitarist and vocalist Sibusile Xaba has all the makings of an acoustic guitar master. With a vocal style that is part dreamscaping and part ancestral invocation, Xaba divines as opposed to plainly singing. Combined with a guitar style that is rooted in expressive picking, Xaba’s music shatters the confines of genre, taking only the fundamentals from mentors such as Madala Kunene and Dr Philip Tabane and imbuing these with a mythology and improvisational intensity all of his own » explains his label.

We ask Sibusile Xaba to select for us five tracks that inspired his new album :

Mfaz’Omnyana – Ngisebenzile Wemama

“First record I ever bought for myself, 21 years ago , there isn’t a week that goes by without me playing this tune. Reminder of my roots and where I come from.”

Madala Kunene – Ubombo

“The great Madala Kunene summarized the idea of simplicity and the depth of trance . A griot  from the South of AFRICA.”

Bheki Mseleku – Closer To The Source

“Again the lesson on simplicity emphasized, also the great need to stretch the harmony and the adventure of improvisation.”

Nduduzo Makhathini – Mama AFRICA

“My love for AFRICA is infinite, AFRICA is love, like that of a caring mother for her children. This message resonates deeply within me & inspires me greatly so.”

Joseph Hlabisa – Emantengwini

“This is the level/sound I hope to reach one day (both vocally and through the instrument guitar) and hopefully expand (actually, rather contribute too).”