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Various Artists: Smooth Africa II: Exploring the Soul

The second in a series of releases spotlighting South African musicians, Smooth Africa II: Exploring the Soul (Heads Up), presents a varied cross-section of South African music. Guitarist Jimmy Dludlu opens the album with the uplifting “Walk of Life,” while saxophonist Moses Khumalo’s “Hymn for Taiwa” is, by turns, gospel-inflected and jazzy, and singer-guitarist Oliver Mtukudzi offers the delicate ballad “Neria,” the title song from a popular African film. Ladysmith Black Mambazo apply their familiar harmonies to the rousing traditional song “Abezizwe: Uniting Nations Together.”

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