Take a hearty dose of traditional jazz elements, a side of gospel tendencies and a solid injection of Afro-pop influence and you have Mandisi Dyantyis.
Port Elizabeth born and bred (the Eastern Cape is pumping out high caliber acts these days), his sound is an expertly orchestrated, cohesive take on the jazz genre.
Honing in on the influence of the likes of late greats Hugh Masekela and Dudu Pukwana, “Somandla” is expansive and exploratory. isiXhosa lyricism lends the broad African backbone to the sound – and whether you understand the language or not this is likely going to hit home.
With a sort of deft effortlessness he touches on all sorts of timelines, soundscapes, cultures and genres – and his intricate trumpet work is just as striking as the vocals.
The video comprises of aerial footage of Dyantyis, stood on a boulder with a trumpet at his lips – a visual which contributes even more so to the expansive, cinematic context.
This is swift and decidedly striking insight into a genre which is gradually being brought to the fore again – and it’s something to watch.
And here’s an extra treat.