If Zimbabwe pop music gives you a rush (it has that effect on me), listen to Tafadzwa, Patience Mudeka's
solo debut, recorded in Illinois, USA and Harawe, Zimbabwe.
is not only the latest pupil from the Thomas Mapfumo and Robson Banda school of Zimbabwean Chimurenga dance music, but also its first woman graduate.
Recording the first six tracks at the famous Shed Studios in Harawe, Mudeka, a former singer with the Blacks Unlimited (Mapfumos' backing band), is assisted by members of that
group as well as the master mbira (African thumb piano) playing of Ephat Mujuru.
Although the mbira tends to get buried, the trance/dance rhythms of the Chimurenga beat are unstoppable as Mudeka's
voice competes in a call and response with the band's back-up vocalists.
My favorite songs, Rova Ngoma and Matema Gore, were written by her
grandmother, Mbuya Mudeka, to whom the recording is dedicated.
final three tracks were recorded with Patience's U.S. band, the Rufaro Mbira Band, giving us six tracks of Harawe commerical chimurenga pop sound and a rootsier American recording with more of the traditional mbira and hoshos (rattles).
Either way, this recording is the latest to come out of Zimbob Records and may push Patience Mudeka
onto the next African "Lilith" tour.