ANNE CARLINI: EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE
Title – ‘Plays Safrojazz’
Artist – Ojoyo
For those unaware, the OJOYO sound (Safrojazz) is a fusion of Capetown born Morris Goldberg’s South African music heritage, with the American music he learned to love from listening to records.
Morris has performed with many American artists, notably Paul Simon, Harry Belafonte and Herbie Hancock; and South African artists including Hugh Masekela, and Jonathan Butler.
Several other OJOYO musicians have recorded and toured with Paul Simon, Lori Anderson, and Edie Brickell, while Capetown native Anton Fig appears nightly on the David Letterman show.
New York based composer, saxophonist, clarinetist, penny whistler and vocalist, Morris Goldberg first released the now newly-remastered Plays Safrojazz (out May 28th, 2021) in 1996, and it was his first ever recording as Ojoyo (one that also features trumpeter Chris Botti).
1.’Station Road Strut’
2. ‘Forward Motion’
5. ‘Dolphin Jive’
6. ‘Little Song’
7. ‘Cape Doctor’
9. ‘Sophiatown Society’
Now greatly enhanced by remastering, Plays Safrojazz actually features two overlapping groups. The first seven selections have Goldberg joined by Botti, keyboardist Tony Cedras, bassist Bakithi Kumalo, drummer Anton Fig, and percussionist Cyro Baptista with two guest appearances by guitarist Dan Carillo and one from Kofo on the talking drum.
The final two performances have Goldberg, Fig and Baptista performing with trumpeter Diego Urcola, tenor-saxophonist Cecilia Tencoli, guitarist John Guth, keyboardist Richard Cummings, and bassist Chulo Gatewood.
Featuring nine Goldberg originals, this album of timeless music opens on the perky, free flowing bounce of ‘Station Road Strut’ and the beautiful hipsway of ‘Forward Motion,’ before bringing us the melodic ‘Harare,’ the divine ambiance of ‘Madagascar,’ and then one of my own personal favorites here, the jaunty, yet cultured Caribbean pop-jazz flow of ‘Dolphin Jive.’
Up next is the pure musical wonderment of ‘Little Song’ which is itself backed by the atmospherically imbibed ‘Cape Doctor,’ the infectious hand-clapping rhythms of ‘Rockwella,’ with the album coming to a close, all too soon (IMHO), on the upbeat and fun ‘Sophiatown Society.’