miércoles, 3 de junio de 2009

Letta Mbulu: Naturally (1973) ... plus:

Resident in the USA since 1964, Letta Mbulu first came to prominence in South Africa in 1960, as a member of the cast of the musical King Kong. On arrival in the USA, she was still under a exclusive world contract with leading South African label Gallo which, afraid of reprisals from the Pretoria authorities, declined to offer her any new recording opportunities. For three years she continued her fruitless negotiations with Gallo's New York representatives, before unilaterally severing the agreement and signing to Capitol Records. For her new label she released two albums before Gallo re-emerged waving her contract and threatening legal action. The continuing ramifications of this situation meant that Mbulu was unable to record for a further two years, instead spending much of her time on tour with, first, Masekela and, later, Cannonball Adderley. In 1973, the singer issued the album Naturally for Adderley's label Fantasy Records. Indeed, he and Mbulu were paired for several of the album's songs. It's here that the L.A. stamp on Mbulu's still-true take on African township pop starts to reveal itself. Songs like ‘Kube’, ‘Noma Themba,’ ‘Hareje’ and ‘Zimkile’ reflect how comfortable Mbulu could be at the crossroads of African and American music. With brilliant production courtesy of Caiphus Semenya, the album also includes the killer soul flute & break ‘Afro Texas’ plus some creamy strings, afro-bass and nice drums. I added three bonus tracks to the original LP: her catchy soul jazz classic ‘What Is Wrong with Groovin’?’, which starts with a throbbing bassline and then leaps into a beautiful soulful vocal that's among one of her best ever, and two songs from her 1968 album Free Soul, ‘Kukuchi’ and ‘West Wind’. After enjoying considerable USA and UK dance-floor success with the single ‘Kilimanjaro’ in 1981, she guested on Michael Jackson's ‘Liberian Girl’. Her singing can also be heard in Roots and The Color Purple. Mbulu continued to be active throughout the 80s and 90s, based in the USA but frequently touring Africa, the Far East and Europe. http://www.nme.com/

Letta Mbulu astonishing rendition of 'Carry On', from 1983:

6 comentarios:

  1. http://rapidshare.com/files/220694340/Letta_Mbully_-_Naturally__1973__..._plus.rar

  2. This is terrific! Great grooves and great singing! One of my favorite Cannonball albums is Accent On Africa, and I'm taking a guess that Mbulu's association with Cannonball might have inspired that album! thanks for posting this gem!

  3. Thank you so much for another excellent selection.

    Please allow me to share one of my fave Letta albums with you and your readers, originally posted on our old blog. Hopefully it's one you don't already own :)

    1976's "There's Music In The Air"

    Here's the original post...

    click here...


    Peace and blessings.

  4. Wow, Vincent the Soul Chef! Thanks a lot for sharing that rare Letta Mbulu's album. I got another gem for my collection thanks to you!! I would have enjoyed visiting your blog as well, but unfortunately a password is needed to enter. Could you send it to me? Cheers!

  5. Oops, sorry about that... I forgot that the old archives were password protected... We never made that blog public because most of our links got deleted by the servers. It would have taken months to restore them all, so that's why we made the change to 4BB-Album Of The Week. I will try to repost some of my older entries in the future if the other "brothers" will let me :)

    In any event, I'm glad you are enjoying the record... I've got a few more that I'd be proud to send your way in gratitude for these two outstanding sites. I'll speak soon.

    Peace and blessings.