To listen to audio on Rock Paper Scissors you'll need to Get the Flash Player

Sample Track 1:
"Ndabaiwa" from Talking Mbira (Piranha)
Buy Recording:
Talking Mbira (Piranha)
Buy mp3's:
click here
Layer 2
CD Review

Click Here to go back.
Boston Herald, CD Review >>

"Talking Mbira" (Pirahna)
* * * *
Stella Chiweshe makes magic playing mbira, the unassuming little thumb piano that is the centerpiece of the traditional Shona music of Zimbabwe.  She's also a powerful singer with a deep voice and a desire to address political and social issues in her troubled homeland.  "Talking Mbira" is subtitled "Spirits of Liberation" for a reason. 

But unless you speak Shona, the message takes second place to the intoxicating and gratifyingly varied music created by Chiweshe and her band.  She begins along in traditional style, then leaps to the future on the second track, which takes Afro-pop into friendly dub-reggae territory.  

She and her band cook the rest of the way, shifting among Zimbabwe pop strongly reminiscent of the South African township jive used by Paul Simon on "Graceland," a cappella vocalizing, and gorgeous instrumentals featuring Chiweshe's mbira surrounded by bubbly African marimbas.  It's a sound that finds hope and happiness in hard times.  (Tonight at First Congregational Church, 11 Garden St., Harvard Square.)  -Larry Katz

Click Here to go back.