20 Sep 2019
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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

At just 23 years old the musically prolific Myele Manzanza has not only held down the drums as part of Wellington's Electric Wire Hustle for the past 4 years but has also drummed for Olmecha Supreme, Sheba Williams, The Recloose Live Band, The Jonathan Crayford Trio as well as for his father - Sam Manzanza's Rhythm Africa Band & countless other musical projects.

Myele only started playing drumkit at age 14 but has been hand drumming traditional African rhythms with his father Sam Manzanza from a very early age.

Since graduating from the New Zealand School Of Music with a Degree in Jazz performance in 2008, Myele has dutifully dedicated himself to learning the new discipline of digital music production. In 2010 Myele was the only New Zealander selected to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy in London where he picked up a wealth of knowledge & skill from the many other participants from all over the world and expert lecturers such as Flying Lotus, Roots Manuva, Cluster, Moodyman, Dr Peter Zinovieff and DJ Zinc.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Myele Manzanza

Releases

OnePointOne
Year: 2016
Type: Album
One
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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