Sathima Bea Benjamin – African Songbird Reissue

There have only been 2 releases on the Matsuli Music label to date, and the high regards with which I still hold one of them is testament to the quality of the materail. The ‘Batsumi’ re-issue was again made available in 2011, and although the wait for another album has been a lengthy one it seems like it should be well worth it.

Originally recorded in 1976 ‘African Songbird’ is seemingly regarded as a classic LP in terms of spiritual jazz.   The 3 tracks are available to stream below, and although the quality is obviously limited what is immediately apparent is the staggering quality of Sathima Bea Benjamin’s voice. In true modal style the opening track ‘Africa’ comes in at over 20 minutes long and contributes to the vast majority of the albums length, and is followed by an acapella (‘Music’) and then the title track itself.

Have a look at the video below (which I assume was shot with the re-issue in mind) and check the link here if you wish to pre-order the LP. Additionally if you are so inclined, there is a launch party for the album ahead of its June release date on 25th May in Bow, East London. More details here.


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