Review

Meet The Unity Band: The Cape Town outfit with a passion for their homeland serving up a fresh helping of jazz stylings

Bringing an undeniable swank to the genre as a whole, The Unity Band is all sorts of interesting when it comes down to just what they’re doing.

The eight-piece band, each boasting a respective instrument, each a UCT student or graduate, have wound their own definitive style into the jazz they create as a conglomerate.

With a newly released debut album Fabric under their belts alongside four Mzantsi Jazz Award nominations including Best Newcomer and Best Jazz Album, these guys are going nowhere but up right now – equipped with silky-smooth sound and an equal amount of zest.

A melting pot of musicians from all walks of life, brought together by a common cause to create music for the love of the African continent.

Grooving bass lines meet rapid fire, earthen percussion and swoon-worthy sax. Thandeka Dladla spills honey-sweet isiXhosa vocalism all over, while brassy textures and lilting electric guitar stitch it all at the rippled seams.

They’re experimental (see the bizarre knock-back percussive landscape of “Nqo Nqo Nqo (Intro)”) and inherently African.

From the toe-tapping, pace-making expression of “Trails” to the 9-minute chiming piano-led “Onset of Dawn”, they whip the timeless genre into something ever-relatable, and consistently forward-thinking.