Mbira and kalimba: classic or dud? Search + destroy!

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbira
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mbira_players

about as classic as it gets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbpZVKvDkFk

ramsey lewis trio β€” "uhuru" (1969)

yes, that's maurice white with the feature\m/

what say you? share other kalimba jams, please.

not exactly a mbira but i believe philip cohran β€œfrankiphone blues” and β€œunity” might scratch yr itch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2OlXso5xGg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AAFiXrGI8M

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 05:21 (two weeks ago) link

and thank you very much for that!

checking out some more traditional stuff by stella chiweshe this morning. very warm music.

My favorite EWF kalimba jam is β€œevil”

brimstead, Friday, 29 July 2022 15:26 (two weeks ago) link

Definitely classic, and good fun to play. Can't think of any jams to share rn though, so appreciate these contributions.

emil.y, Friday, 29 July 2022 15:53 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxyFWe6g05U

budo jeru, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:04 (two weeks ago) link

also recommend reading paul F berliner's "the soul of mbira"

budo jeru, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:06 (two weeks ago) link

can't find it on youtube, but Codona - Hey Ba Da Doom is another good one. in fact i'm sure there's all kinds of mbira over don cherry's disco that i'm not recalling rn

budo jeru, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:22 (two weeks ago) link

x-post---yes to Stella Chiweshe

curmudgeon, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:24 (two weeks ago) link

Berliner is the Nonesuch Explorer record? If so, that is very good.

sknybrg, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:27 (two weeks ago) link

yes, but i was actually recommending his book of the same name:

https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo3644709.html

budo jeru, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:29 (two weeks ago) link

Came here to say "The Soul of Mbira" as well, available in full on YT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10DOfsLEX7I
Chiwoniso Maraire - Zvichapera

Nabozo, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:33 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HU4VLZeccg
Dumisani Maraire & Ephat Mujuru - Chemutengure

Nabozo, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:39 (two weeks ago) link

there's really only kalimba at the beginning but this is some great 70s city pop

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07SblTgJnNo

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 29 July 2022 16:44 (two weeks ago) link

YES, Francis Bebey's "Akwaaba" is one of the best albums ever and Philip Cohran's amplified kalimba ("frankiphone") playing is always great- make sure you check out "Window" off Armageddon which is absolutely fucking terrifying. Both excellent suggestions.

Kinda surprised nobody posted Laraaji yet.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 July 2022 16:47 (two weeks ago) link

xp - Didn’t know Berliner wrote a book too. Will have to check it out

sknybrg, Friday, 29 July 2022 16:48 (two weeks ago) link

Jazz drummer Chad Taylor incorporates mbira into a lot of his stuff, particularly with the Chicago Underground Duo, Trio, etc.

but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, 29 July 2022 16:56 (two weeks ago) link

I really recommend this LP from Nadi Qamar that Folkways released in 1975--it's pure kalimba (or specifically this collection of them that Qamar called the Mama-Likembi). The album is just about 30 minutes long and has some different approaches so even though it's based around just this one instrument, it works very nicely as a complete statement:

https://nadiqamar.bandcamp.com/album/the-nuru-taa-african-musical-idiom-played-on-the-mama-likembi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgZDFwSMwVI

mr. milligan, Friday, 29 July 2022 18:15 (two weeks ago) link

^very nice

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 July 2022 19:10 (two weeks ago) link

fuck yeah, that one’s up there in my footwork top five

hesitated to post some lamellophone-sampling house tracks but the percussionist tom burford aka β€œcontours”, because he’s not exactly playing the instrument in the track, but you might have opened the floodgate!

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 19:27 (two weeks ago) link

bring it :D

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 July 2022 19:30 (two weeks ago) link

well maybe instead i just point out that it’s quite prominent in the various trip hop type β€œbeat music” produced by carlos nino (ammoncontact etc) and i think in that context usually played live by noted chicago percussionist adam rudolph

por ejemplo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmp_bS8UhdI

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 19:35 (two weeks ago) link

nadi qamar β€” ooh ... now this is some high quality kalimba!

also sorry to be that guy but can we pretty please type out artist and track names when posting videos? or at least a link to the discogs or rym page or something? i'm kinda sorta using this as a queue of things to check out later and that really streamlines.

tyvm to all. amazing and satisfying as hell recommendations so far.

also i don't care if it's not "REAL" kalimba being played. emulations/homages are fine by me. all time periods and styles are of interest.

I am traveling but will definitely add a bunch to this thread next week!

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 29 July 2022 20:23 (two weeks ago) link

Oh man, I actually searched my HD for Adam Rudolph's kalimba earlier and came up with mostly jazz ensemble stuff where it's not too prominent- One 2008 performance with him, Yusef Lateef, Roscoe Mitchell and Douglas Ewart had lits of instrument swapping with all of them on percussion and I can't even tell who's playing what half the time.

But Carlos Nino is a wormhole I need to go through for sure

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 July 2022 20:31 (two weeks ago) link

re carlos niΓ±o, despite the socal / low end theory connection i really only like hu vibrational and ammoncontact but that’s like solid 5-7 albums worth of kalimba beat tracks there

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 20:53 (two weeks ago) link

(Austin I'm assuming you already have the Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby)

xp I'll check those out for sure!

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 July 2022 20:55 (two weeks ago) link

Sorie Kondi / Kondi Band (blind Moira player from Sierra Leone / collaboration with Chief Boima), there are a few albums out there

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5RvTzlOotA

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 29 July 2022 20:59 (two weeks ago) link

I made a whole early pandemic album of programmed kalimba music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYvDMHL-LfA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhgQVTiDUp8

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 29 July 2022 21:03 (two weeks ago) link

This is a one-off by experimental grime producer Iglew (Hawksworth woods):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sruZG7I4A1o

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 29 July 2022 21:06 (two weeks ago) link

Laraaji, 'Mbira Dance' & 'Kalimba' (doesn't get much more literal than that)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFGX-X5PoQ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w1EdaHYbbM

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 29 July 2022 21:16 (two weeks ago) link

(Austin I'm assuming you already have the Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby)

you are assuming correctly!

imo it's her best album. youtube playlist of the whole thing. discogs entry. highly recommended, even if it's not explicitly a kalimba album.

it's my favorite album of hers, too. there was a time when i listened to it a lot, but it's been years. In my memory it was pretty evenly split between harp, koto and kalimba but there's less kalimba than i thought- it's just the intro to one song and solos on 2 others.

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Friday, 29 July 2022 21:45 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, thanks for all the recommendations everyone, I am adding them to my evergrowing bandcamp wishlist to listen to at some point soon....

m0stly clean (Slowsquatch), Friday, 29 July 2022 22:03 (two weeks ago) link

Berliner is the Nonesuch Explorer record? If so, that is very good.

― sknybrg, Friday, July 29, 2022 9:27 AM (six hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

for clarity, are you referring to this?

it's being recommended by me either way, ftr. the more traditional style (i've just learned, tyvm) is called shona. love the chants. they hit such unusual harmonies sometimes. really just a different shade of beaut. love love love.

*beauty

sorry, just very enthusiastic rn.

all of those nonesuch smithsonian reissues are worth a listen. i snapped up most of them on cd ~15 years ago when tower records were having their huge going out of business sales. the balinese gamelan and caribbean steel pan one worth a listen if you’re into mbira. there’s another one from that set called β€œzimbabwe: the african mbira : music of the shona people” which is just as good

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 23:16 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.nonesuch.com/albums/zimbabwe-african-mbira-music-shona-people

i guess there’s also third one (with a mbira and someone’s hands playing it on the cover) with a similar title that i haven’t ever heard. assume they’re all from the same big set of field recordings …

https://www.discogs.com/release/3980389-Shona-Africa-Zimbabwe-Shona-Mbira-Music

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 23:20 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.nonesuch.com/albums/zimbabwe-african-mbira-music-shona-people

i guess there’s also third one (with a mbira and someone’s hands playing it on the cover) with a similar title that i haven’t ever heard. assume they’re all from the same big set of field recordings …

https://www.discogs.com/release/3980389-Shona-Africa-Zimbabwe-Shona-Mbira-Music

the late great, Friday, 29 July 2022 23:20 (two weeks ago) link

yeah, i know the soul of mbira wth the hands and mbira cover.
i seem to remember that nonesuch issued the explorer series titles in the 90’s with similar black and white covers. that was the disc i had a one point.
don’t think i’ve heard the others. anyway, this is a great thread and i am also making a list from the recommendations

sknybrg, Saturday, 30 July 2022 00:00 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J538b-OLRU

This has kalimba, no?

J. Sam, Saturday, 30 July 2022 00:20 (two weeks ago) link

Jim Infantino's song "Gangway" has a kalimba solo in the middle.

And if I could find it on YouTube, I'd post the link, but I can't, so I won't.

Moniker? I barely know 'er! (SlimAndSlam), Saturday, 30 July 2022 01:46 (two weeks ago) link

Jazz drummer Chad Taylor incorporates mbira into a lot of his stuff, particularly with the Chicago Underground Duo, Trio, etc.

― but also fuck you (unperson), Friday, July 29, 2022 9:56 AM

thank you for this mention. i am aware of him because of his past collaborations with people from the sea and cake. looked into and this is the most recent such thing. gave it a quick preview and sounds good. will definitely revisit. also wow, had no clue he was involved in so many different things.

also back to pop songs that incorporate it-

mount kimbie, duh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjSKEyR2vDo

"marilyn" featuring micachu (2017)


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