Mvubu steps out of the shadows with a debut jazz album
With his first jazz album, Mvubu emerges from the shadows.
Saxophonist Mthunzi Mvubu has finally emerged from the shadows to record his first album. Mvubu released The 1st Gospel in December after appearing on more than 20 albums by different musicians.
The timing was ideal for a man who has been immersed in music since he was 14 years old. Under the guidance of the late Johnny Mekoa, he began studying at the Music Academy of Gauteng in Daveyton, where he grew to comprehend the business.
The album’s release gave him the opportunity to experience what it was like to be showered with praise.
“I have been working hard to get an agent overseas so that I can tour internationally and promote the album. I am happy with the response that I am getting. I had to feel what it’s like to receive support and love from the audience. I have been involved in other people’s recordings and did not know what it’s like to be praised for your own album.
“I think it was a perfect time for me to release the album after years of being involved in other people’s albums and I cherish the experience. Sometimes I feel like it was overdue. I wanted to release the album in 2020 but I had to put it on hold due to the outbreak of Covid-19. I am glad it is finally out and it is exactly how I had envisaged it.”
The jazz CD The First Gospel is exquisite and sophisticated. Zigzag, a dedication to his mother, is the song that starts things off.
The album is filled with standout songs including Shwele, Mom vs. Bad Man, A Child Speaks, and the title track.
“I call it The 1st Gospel because it is my first album. It took me six days to record the album with most of the songs composed a year before. Zigzag is dedicated to my late mother. She was a traditional healer and at some point, she stopped practising. It complicated her life a lot. She went back [to it] later and she passed on. The song is just a narrative of her life and it was supposed to be longer than nine minutes. But I cut it because I did not want to come across as Fela Kuti (Nigeria’s king of Afro-beat who was known for longs songs).”
Mvubu has shared the stage with some of the best musicians in the world, including Omar Sosa, the Temptations, Kevin Mahogany, the O’Jays, Abdullah Ibrahim, Rufus Reid, and the O’Jays.
On native soil, Mvubu has crossed paths with people like Nduduzo Makhathini, Themba Mkhize, Feya Faku, Tsepo Tshola, Jason Yarde, Andile Yenana, Musa Manzini, and Jimmy Dludlu.
Mvubu has performed on tour with Shabaka, The Ancestors, and most recently, The Brother Moves On throughout Europe and the USA.