Sebai Bai
Sebai Bai
Catalogue Number:LBLC2571
Release Date:2001-02-26
Review:Bouncingly cheerful and political through and through, Sebai Bai, the "comeback" album from the South African townships' best-loved group of female vocalists, is a breath of fresh air. The group's name once indicated a bigger number of performers: "Mahotella Queens" was the generic name for many of the backing singers who cut discs in the mbaqanga style. "Mbaqanga" means "dumpling" in Zulu, indicating "home-made" but the sax-jive for which it became the generic term involves very intricate patterns of call-and-response, blending Zulu and Xhosa styles with rhythm and blues and at times coming very close to reggae. The subject matter of their polyglot songs varies from pointed political commentary, to social and tribal concerns but it's never po-faced. These three singers, whose careers began under difficult circumstances in the 1960s, dedicate this album to their hero and one-time leader Simon Nkabinde, the Lion of Soweto. One of their supporting instrumentalists is that Malagasy whizz on the accordion, Regis Gizavo -