Bheki Mseleku: Adored Value
Bheki Mseleku (piano)
Beauty of Sunrise (Verve)
Graham Haynes (cornet), Ravi Coltrane (tenor sax), Michael Bowie (bass).
Composed by Bheki Mseleku.
Recorded: New York, November 26-28, 1995
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Now that he has gone back to a country that has changed for the better, we don't hear so much about South African multi-instrumentalist Bheki Mseleku. More than a decade ago, when he was an exile living in London, he was considered a musical wonder who could play piano and tenor sax in the various styles of his native country as well in the neo hard-bop style that was prevalent at the time. On this track, surrounded by such young lions as Graham Haynes and Ravi Coltrane and supported by veteran drummer Elvin Jones, Mseleku tackles a cleverly penned tuned that might have been a hit on a Blue Note or Prestige album in the '60s. Still, both his sensitive piano style, indebted to Monk, and his partners' enthusiasm prevent this song from becoming a mere copy of the past. It boils with a life and feeling that defy time and stylistic categories.
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum