Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Four Brothers - Rudo Chete (1988)

The holidays are over, the new year is begun, and the environmental challenges continue with unrelenting subzero temperatures. So let's go to Zimbabwe for some classic music from a premier dance band!

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.

11 Jan: While researching something else, I came across a recent article by Fred Zindl that discusses the fate of the Four Brothers and their families. Tragic, and all too common for the vast majority of African musicians exploited and then discarded by the music industry.


FrancoPepeKalle said...

This is a great collection. Zimbabwe produced some dynamic music. You got just interesting singer. Thomas Mupfamo knew talent. Man thank you man. Thomas Mupfamo is still alive. I would love a Mupfamo family member to do a Pepe Kalle song in a Zimbabwe way.

Apurva Bahadur said...

Excellent Sir! Many thanks for sharing AND welcome back after a long break! Apurva from Pune, India.

Rhythm Connection said...

@FPK: Yes! A Kalle song done Zimbabwe rumba would be great.