ISBN 9781928331667
Pages 272
Dimensions 280 x 210mm
Published 2020
Publisher African Minds Publishers, South Africa
Format Paperback

The Artistry of 
Bheki Mseleku

by Andrew Lilley

Bheki Mseleku is widely considered one of the most accomplished jazz musicians to have emerged from South Africa. His music has a profound significance in recalling and giving emphasis to that aspect of the African American jazz tradition originating in the rhythms and melodies of Africa. The influences of Zulu traditional music, South African township, classical music and American jazz are clearly evident and combine to create an exquisite and particularly lyrical style, evoking a sense of purity and peace that embraces the spiritual healing quality central to his musical inspiration.

The Artistry of Bheki Mseleku is an in-depth study of his musical style and includes annotated transcriptions and analysis of a selection of compositions and improvisations from his most acclaimed albums including ‘Celebration’, ‘Timelessness’, ‘Star Seeding’, ‘Beauty of Sunrise’ and ‘Home at Last’. Mseleku recorded with several American jazz greats including Ravi Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins and Abbey Lincoln. His music serves as a vital link to the African–American musical art form that inspired many of the South African jazz legends.

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"Despite being entirely self-taught, Mseleku was the most technically sophisticated of jazz musicians, though the abiding experience of hearing him play was one of an unjazzlike simplicity."

John Fordham, The Guardian

About the Author

Andrew Lilley

Andrew Lilley is an associate professor the at the University of Cape Town, and assistant director of the South African College of Music where he lectures in jazz piano, theory and improvisation. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with the celebrated hard bop pianist and composer Donald Brown, and with Enja recording artist Bruce Barth. He holds degrees from the University of Cape Town. He is a well-respected member of the South African musical fraternity and appears on numerous recordings with local and international artists.