Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wouter Kellerman, Mzansi

For whatever historical reasons the tin whistle has been well established in South African traditional music for many years. South African flautist and all-around musical artist Wouter Kellerman unleashes that and his standard flute in an album of traditional and modern South African music, Mzansi (Kellerman 47006).

The album has pan-African influences in its instrumentation and approach as well as a conventional rhythm section. We get South African vocal stylings, a funk ambiance, contemporary elements like reggae and the melodic, playful flute solos of Kellerman.

He is perhaps no Eric Dolphy (actually he owes more to a Roland Kirk soulfulness) but he has a beautiful tone and plays nicely in a folk-jazz sort of way. It's the sound of the album as a musical offering, a modernized Afro-funk that gives you an impactful experience, rather than a flute-plus-rhythm "pure jazz" effort. But that is cool once you listen a few times and adjust expectations.

It's a beautiful listen.

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