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Jazz's new ensemble TRC loaded with young talent

Band leader Mandla Mlangeni.
Band leader Mandla Mlangeni.

Whenever you mix together stellar musicians who are masters in their own right you're guaranteed something magical.

That's true of vibrant SA jazz band Tune Recreation Committee (TRC).

Made up of former winners of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in jazz, TRC has just dropped its album Afrika Grooves.

The all-male band is made up of Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet), Afrika Mkhize (piano), Mark Fransman (accordion, clarinet and sax), Reza Khota (guitar), Nicholas Williams (bass), Clement Benny (drums) and Tlale Makhene (percussion).

Each member in the group composes a certain number of songs.

In a market populated by an Afro-jazz sound and adult contemporary sound, this classical jazz album is a breath of fresh air.

The group plays a vibrant jazz sound exporting their own flavour and improvising.

TRC is an ever-changing and adaptable ensemble committed to building a musical bridge between the past, present and future.

Afrika Grooves is about building a documented heritage resource that challenges colonial bias and expands a narrative of musicians, composers and artists.

Band leader Mlangeni, who boasts a host of skills ranging from teaching, performing, arranging, to composing diverse styles of music, says the album pricks different emotions.

"The album is about finding you healing and truth. It just heals the soul through music.

"We try to keep it fresh and the album is inspired by our African sound of music and its interpretation," he says.

Mlangeni says when they went to the studio they imagined Joburg before all these tall buildings and how it has changed and been transformed over the years.

"We tried to take our imagination beyond what we see with naked eyes. The album offers a variety of songs."

The album opens with a beautiful track Kudala which has a strong influence of mbaqanga and it was composed by Mlangeni himself.

"I was fascinated to see if I could write a mbaqanga tune without the use of this progression."

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