about the album
Mashasha’s self-titled album, his first solo project, reveals him as a unmissable and compelling new voice in African music. It reflects Mashasha’s journey since he left Zimbabwe – 10 tracks crammed with ideas and wide-ranging influences, while sounding entirely individual and non-derivative. Mashasha’s music has very deep Zimbabwean roots, but his take on the music is not in any of the typical Zimbabwean styles. The tracks on the album are undeniably personal: at once intimate and radical, with an unrelenting sadness mixed with a sense of exhilaration and adventure.
For the recording, Mashaha and co-producer Eugene Ulman brought together a unexpected combination of masterful musicians, including featuring drummer Robbie Avenaim (best known as an experimental musician, sound artist and instrument builder), trombonist Ku-umba Frank Lacy (who has played with Lester Bowie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the Mingus Big Band, Branford Marsalis and many more), Iranian ney legend Davod Varzideh (best known as member of Shahkilid and the Rumi Ensemble), Zimbabwean master drummer / percussionist and fellow Too Open member Sam Chagumachinyi, keyboardist Danny G. Felix based in Sydney and New York, top Dakar guitarist Jeannot Mendy (lead guitarist for Viviane N’dour and Didier Awadi who recently played with Pharoah Sanders) and others.
Eugene Ulman - producer
Eugene first began listening to African music while still in high school in Australia in the late 1980s. He pursued his love of music while studying film making, presenting weekly African music programs on Sydney radio, working extensively as a DJ and writing about African music for various publications. As a film-maker, his work has often been connected to music and musicians, and he eventually moved into production - promoting, producing and organizing concerts, tours, festivals and live events in various countries including Australia, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Burkina Faso. Eugene is the founder and director of Elegwa Arts and the Elegwa Music label.