28 Feb 2020
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Myele Manzanza - Album Review: A Love Requited

19 Jun 2019 // A review by Jacquie Walters

A Love Requited is the third album from drummer and composer Myele Manzanza. Having shared many concert bills with Myele’s Dad, well know percussionist Sam Manzanza, I approached Myele’s album with a high level of interest.

Myele Manzanza is a wonderful composer. Each track is so delicately poised and complete in its own right, with beautiful use of dynamics.

Ritual provides an emphatic and dramatic opening with rumbling bass and clean, erudite piano. It’s epic in its proportions, coming in at 8 minutes and 21 seconds. Family Dynamics Prologue which follows showcases the masterfully rich production of Manzanza and Ross McHenry. Production values like this are a work of art in their own right.

The theme of family runs through the album and is particularly evident as Myele discusses the origin of his family surname with his father in ALR Origins Story. Family Dynamics which follows continues the theme and is as fraught and complex as its title suggests.

Itaru’s Phone Booth, ALR Refrain, and Madrid were highlights for me. Each with lush and languid aspects, but never predictable or complacent. Manzanza knows exactly how to build and hold the listener’s interest.

He is more than ably assisted in his efforts by a remarkable list of accompanying musicians.

The album features New York based pianist Matthew Sheens, who is quite simply remarkable, alto saxophonist Jake Baxendale, and truly extraordinary trumpet playing from Ben Harrison.

There are also very tasty contributions from James Macaulay on trombone and multi-reedist Jason McMahon. Flautist Adam Page and guitarist Django Rowe also feature with Mark de Clive-Lowe Mashibeats, Brenton Foster, and Jack Strempel making keyboard contributions.

A Love Requited is an accomplished and intelligent offering from a musician whose musicianship and creative output is, and I don’t say this lightly, truly world class.

What an absolute delight of an album!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Myele Manzanza

The son of a Congolese master percussionist, born and raised in NZ listening to hip hop, jazz and dance music, as an artist Myele Manzanza brings an eclectic style and diverse skill to his craft to create a genre bending experience rooted in jazz and African rhythm. Manzanza is a powerful drummer who has earned himself a reputation as a composer with vision, and a musician who is not afraid to experiment.

As a drummer and a sideman he continues to tour internationally and collaborate with a broad range of artists across multiple genres including Theo Parrish, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Ross McHenry, The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Amp Fiddler, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Ria Hall, Marcus Strickland, Recloose, Sorceress, Jordan Rakei and countless others.

Manzanza works hard to establish himself on the world stage, whether it’s being selected from over 20,000 applicants to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy in London, solo album releases on esteemed international labels Sound Signature, First Word and BBE, or his sophomore album OnePointOne’s nomination for the 2017 NZ Jazz Album of the Year.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Myele Manzanza

Releases

A Love Requited
Year: 2019
Type: Album
OnePointOne
Year: 2016
Type: Album
One
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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