One of Zimbabwe’s finest jazz outfits, Jazz Invitation, have released their second album entitled Tsoka (footsteps).
The album is a departure from their successful first album Rehearsal Room in that while the first album’s tracks have vocals; Tsoka is dominated by some thrilling instrumentals.
The tracks on this album are solid and well-arranged instrumentals. On Tsoka, the band expertly blends traditional Zimbabwean rhythms and sounds with jazz elements on the keyboards, saxophone and lead guitar.
The classic and traditional song Dzinonwa Muna Zambezi has been given a new lease of life as this version is an improvement on earlier versions.
It has been brought into the jazz realm with improvisation and the use of great saxophone solos and a solid bass.
The track Tsoka is a cool sound that is easy to listen to and it features expert drumming. Handizvidi is a great track that features a well-arranged melodic lead and saxophone.
The track Solitude features an enticing drum intro. On this tune, the band dug deep to produce a sound that is authentic ’60s and ’70s township music.
The song features remarkable keyboard solos from Bernie Bismark. Another track that is authentic township jazz is Zvandinetsa, a track that carries vocals and makes good listening.
On the whole the 10-track album is a good listen and it also has tracks including My Two Blessings, Diaspora, Dumela, Time and Opportunity and Linda.
Songs on the album were produced by Kelly Rusike and Owen Chimuka. Jazz Invitation is a dynamic band with members frequently joining and leaving.
Currently band members include Patience Musa (vocals), Kelly Rusike (Bass and vocals), Bismark (keyboard), Dave Bekoe (drums) Simba Madzara (guitar) and Mathew Ngorima.
The band has been in existence for the past six years. The “jazz invitation”concept was conceived by drummer Sam Mataure who invited different musicians to play at different events and festivals across the country.
The concept was novel and it immediately became very popular as it brought together musicians of varied styles and tastes.
Mataure left to play in South Africa while Jazz Invitation carried on, abosorbing new members and talent such as drummer Victor Duarte.