Jive Connection, "Special Delivery", HELCD-34
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Outstanding groove fusion Sweden-South Africa
It is now ten years since the magnificent South African singer Vusi Mahlasela visited Sweden for thefirst time. Luckily enough he met Jive Connection, a heavily merited collection of Swedish club musicians. The co-operation turned out very well, and finally - after twelve tours in both South Africa and Scandinavia - they release their first full-length CD, "Special Delivery", on Helikopter Records, Göteborg.
"Special Delivery" is really special; it incorporates the experiences from ten years of musical interchange between Göteborg and Pretoria, collected in twelve new-written songs and two covers, full of life, happy beats, irresistible groove, and of course Vusi Mahlasela's warm and full-bodied leading vocals. Vusi is one of South Africa's black stars. His discography contains 5 CD-album releases on BMG Africa. In 1998 he received two South African Grammy's for best CD-album, and for best male artist. In 1997 he represented South Africa in a TV-show, CNNLive. Last autumn Vusi sang a duet with Sting on his "Brand New Day"-tour in South Africa. Together with Miriam Makeba, he was the top name on the last jazz festival in Capetown. During his first tour in the USA the other year he was backed up by The Wailers (Bob Marley's band) in Los Angeles. This year, Vusi joins in on the title track of Dave Matthews new CD "Everyday". That album has become a chartbreaker on Billboard, USA. The CD-album "Special Delivery" was recorded during early 2001, and produced by Torsten Larsson, or TopSteen - which is his artist name when he plays with the Swedish band Stonefunkers as guitarplayer and producer, famous from MTV. He is also the producer behind the Grammy winner
Soundtrack Of Our Lives, among others. Torsten Larssons extraordinary skill, contamining his CD:s with most joyful sounds and swinging beats, is well known in Swedish record industry, as well as on club scenes. His background as a freak of p-funk music has brought modern setting and contemporary attitude to Jive Connection's afro music. The result is more than successful: "Special Delivery" offers up-to-date club music colored with genuine ethnic influences from the dark Africa.
Helikopter Records Djurgårdsgatan 13, S-414 62 Gothenburg, Sweden. phone:+46,31,12 50 44 fax: +46,31 12 15 84e-mail: email@example.com,
Tracks recommended for air time:
Thululalele, no 1; Intombi ye Mbali, no 2; Faceless People part II, no 4, Prodigal Son, no 6; Anastacia, no 7; Umzala, no 13
The musicians in Jive Connection have long experience from South African music style, but also from a wide area of groove-based styles like jazz, funky beats, reggae and carribian music. To the listener this is obvious. Total line-up, as follows: Stefan Bergman - bass, Erik Bodin - drums, Christian Borg - saxophones, Johan Johansson - keyboards, Jesper Lundaahl - guitar & trumpet, Erik Ridderstolpe - percussion & vocals, Norman Zulu - dance & vocals, and of course, Vusi Mahlasela - acoustic guitar & lead vocals