Kheswa & Her Martians Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz

Kheswa & Her Martians Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz
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South African stage actress Nonhlanhla Kheswa's debut is a throwback African jazz album in the loosest sense. As this uniquely American sound infiltrated the British colonies in the late '50s, apartheid drove musicians out of South Africa and into hip locales like London and NYC, where hybrid musical movements were formed. On their debut LP, Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz, Kheswa & Her Martians pay homage to this brand of rhythmic and soulful jazz. With a playing time of over an hour, Kheswa pulls together nine minor key, tightly contained, passionate-filled tracks that move from sexy studio creations to loose-collar live performances. From the 15-minute centerpiece composition (exploratory African show tune replica "Nonhlanhla's Kofifi Medley: Pata") to the county music-influenced "Koyboyi," Kheswa and her band swiftly demonstrate just how deep their musical roots run. Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz is an album that freely references jazz's golden era without ever feeling beholden to it. (Independent)