[  African Jazz, Hip Hop Kwaito Reggae & more...  ] 12 April 2024   SA Time:     
  Back to Artist A-Z A-Z Popup

Print Print version
Mntambo, Shaluza Max (South Africa)  
Shaluza Max Mntambo. © Steve Gordon.

IMPILO is ShaluzaMax's newly released second album. It has already been receiving widespread radio attention. IMPILO (meaning Life) is based on Max's observations of life in South Africa. It is a strong album with a diverse array of musical influences, a tribute to both Max's versatility and that of his producer, David Rex (who produced albums of a wide range of artists, from Ernie Smith to Mapaputsi). Max said: "David Rex is one of the hottest producers of our time and his youthful touch gave this album the much desired youthfulness and gave it a contemporary, yet strongly South African sound." Max says of this album: "It is a true resemblance of what I have been through since my debut album, KUSILE. I have cried, laughed and loved and yet I am still here and alive".

IMPILO consists of 13 tracks, most of which are completely new, original material. Those familiar with his debut, KUSILE, will recognise two remixes taken from that album: "Amaginsa (Wired to da Floor remix)" and "Isigwadi (Winding and Grinding Remix)". The new track, Mangase, already getting airplay, is sure to be a hit on the dance floors of this country with its driving, thumping groove.

Genre: African Jazz, mbaqanga, traditional / indigenous
Max has dedicated this album to the memory of Moses Taiwa Molelekwa; it also includes "The Spirit of Moses Molelekwa", a track that is reminiscent of the late, great pianist.

ShaluzaMax Mntambo is a visionary artist. A composer, producer and arranger, his tenor voice easily adapts to a range of vocal expression. Strongly rooted in African tradition, ShaluzaMax incorporates contemporary jazz with global rhythms to a repertoire that is voracious and versatile. Born in Kwa-Mashu, Durban, the vibrant musical township that continues to spawn a host of exceptional artistic talent, ShaluzaMax began his vocal training in classical choirs, at age 14.

Strongly influenced by gospel music, the young singer conceived and formed what was to become a promising exponent of African-jazz fusion - the group JAMA. Moving from Durban to Johannesburg in 1986, JAMA soon became regulars on the jazz circuit. The young musicians honed their skills in the company of groups like Stimela, Sankomota and Tananas in venues like Jazz Joint, Kippies and Jamesons Jazz Club. Towards the end of 1987, JAMA, moved to Cape Town and toured with bands like Sakhile, Johnny Clegg and Savuka and Bayete.

The young group disbanded in '88 and seized the opportunity to tour with the blockbuster musical, SARAFINA. Seven of the original eight band members took to the stage under the watchful eye of Mbongeni Ngema. After five sold-out months at Johannesburg's Market Theatre the musical toured Europe for 30 months, and played to sell-out crowds in Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. Max played the male lead vocalist and behind the scenes was appointed voice trainer for the whole group at the tender age of 20. In '92 he resigned and returned home to Durban to focus on a bold career move, music.
He worked briefly with Durban-based musicians, including vocal powerhouse Busi Mhlongo. He also featured as lead vocalist on Sakhile's "Welcome Home" album. The release coincided with the return of many exiled musicians. ShaluzaMax went on to perform at Hugh Masekela's second show in South Africa after 30 years in exile.

The world watched the inauguration of Nelson Mandela and the subsequent lifting of the cultural blockade in South Africa. Attracted by the limitless talent boasted by South Africa, record company B&W saw the opportunity to launch the new legendary OUTERNATIONAL MELTDOWN series. In '94, over 40 virtuoso musicians from South Africa, the US, Cuba, Brazil and the UK came together to make music. Max composed and arranged and sang on most of the thirty tracks recorded. The fruit of a heavyweight jam session featuring artists like Jose Neto, Airto Moreira, Sipho Gumede, Flora Purim, Pops Mohamed and Moses Molelekwa were pressed into a 3-CD collectors item set. In the true spirit of jazz, nothing was written down before the artists came together. During the three-week studio session, ShaluzaMax's ability to spontaneously create and interpret ideas into melodies and rhyme was exemplary Continuing in the vibe of the Outernational Meltdown series, B&W Music brought together three South African musicians and two British musicians to form the group BARUNGWA (a Pedi word meaning 'The Messengers'). All established musicians in their own rights, Max was called to be the lead vocalist, lyricist, composer and arranger of the progressive jazz outfit. '96 saw Barungwa on tour in the UK, Ireland and a debut tour in South Africa. Their music, inspired by traditional Zulu, Xhosa and Pedi rhythms and melodies, spiced with brash London acid-jazz flavour, forms conscious aural currency to trade on the global market.

Max co-wrote and co-produced the soundtrack of the celluloid version of South African classic, Jock of the Bushveld. His voice can also be heard on the children's cartoon hit, The Lion King, along with fellow South African musicians under the direction of Lebo M and Tim Rice.

ShaluzaMax's debut solo recording project was completed in July 2000, producing a ten-track album entitled "Kusile'' (Dawn) in just four weeks. The album climbed the local radio charts with songs like 'Isigwadi' and 'Amaginsa' among the favourites.
  Recordings : Mntambo, Shaluza Max



click here for more about these and other recordings by : Mntambo, Shaluza Max

See copyright & usage and about for further details.

Subscribe Unsubscribe