Bruce Cassidy My African Heart

Bruce Cassidy My African Heart
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Having worked with the likes of Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Lighthouse, trumpeter Bruce Cassidy abandoned his thriving career and moved to South Africa. Twenty years of immersion in the life-affirming music and culture of that vibrant country left their indelible imprint on Cassidy's being. Returning to Canada, Cassidy composed and arranged South African-rooted music for a band of the country's foremost jazz musicians, who clearly relish the delicious funkiness of the 11 tunes. Exclusively playing the expressive EVI (electric valve instrument, a synth-based, trumpet-like horn), Cassidy is a phenomenally fluid soloist on all of the tracks. The Walter Becker-ish guitar part lends a Steely Dan feel to the strong groove of "Soweto Serenade." It features a bold horn arrangement and powerful solos by tenorist Kelly Jefferson, as well as Cassidy on Fagen-inflected EVI, pianist Adrean Farrugia and Shirantha Beddage on baritone sax; it's a party's worth of good sounds on a single track. Tunes by Hugh Masakela and Abdullah Ibrahim get earthy treatments, while vocalist Jackie Richardson contributes a moving reading of South African-banned anthem "Weeping." This album will make any party a more festive event. (Fikile)