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South African jazzman Malcolm Jiyane announces debut album, UMDALI

The musician has released “Umkhumbi kaMa,” a single from his upcoming project, to be released via Mushroom Hour Half Hour.

A ubiquitous sideman and bandleader, multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Jiyane forms part of the vanguard of his generation of jazz musicians. Operating from the centre as well as the fringes of the South African scene, notably as an integral part of the recent SPAZA LP UPRIZE!, the trombonist (and pianist) is a key figure among his musician contemporaries, able to put them through their paces in his own compositions, while giving them room to interpret them anew. 

In his debut album, UMDALI, Jiyane delivers not only a major tribute to his past  – one shaped around dedications to key figures in his personal and professional life – but also an honest snapshot of his personal circumstances at the time of recording. In that period several years ago, the musician was dealing with the death of a band member, the birth of a daughter and the passing of his beloved mentor Johnny Mekoa, the founder of the Music Academy of Gauteng, which Jiyane attended from a young age. These life-altering events give shape to the music’s emotional register and its thematic concerns. Positioned at the edge of this precipice, Jiyane turned to a core of talented musicians mostly based around Soweto’s jamming scene, as well as to important figures in his own creative trajectory. 

Released on Mushroom Hour Half Hour, his new single, “Umkhumbi kaMa,” gives a taste of how the album will sound. The jazz-funk track celebrates the creative force as inhabited by women, while also paying tribute to Herbie Hancock’s “Ostinato (Suite for Angela),” simultaneously connecting not only the musical traditions of the Black Atlantic but also the struggles and triumphs of women across space and time. 

UMDALI by Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O, out on November 12 via Half Mushroom Half Hour.