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Hukwe Zawose: Chibite

Tanzanian musician Hukwe Zawose creates a tantalizing and relatively de-westernized sound, spinning tales in Swahili with a voice that cyclical melodies around the undulating modal patterns on chirimbo (an indigenous thumb piano). It’s high time that he make his way into the expanding ranks of world music: Zawose, who teaches at the Bagomoro College of Arts in Tanzania, last recorded in 1965, which makes his new album, Chibite (RealWorld 2358; 66:34) a special occasion. The East African nation’s relative isolation and anti-urban emphasis has ensured the perpetuation of indigenous, traditional music that comes across with a startling, meditative beauty.

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