Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Four Brothers - Rudo Chete (1988)
Led by Thomas Mapfumo's nephew, Marshall Munhumumwe, Four Brothers became one of Zimbabwe's most successful and famous dance bands. Fusing chimurenga guitar styles with rumba drive, the band's hits are on nearly every compilation of Zimbabwean pop music. BBC deejay John Peel enthusiastically called them "the best live band in the world," after seeing them play.
Light, lightning-fast guitars dance around Munhumumwe's steady drumming, while his singing floats over all. This album was released just as the band followed the Bhundu Boys' trail to the UK and achieved international fame. Four Brothers remained extremely popular in Zimbabwe for two decades, until a car crash-induced stroke ended Munhumumwe's career in 1997. Caught midway through a prolific career, this album sparkles. I hope it lightens up your new year.