Tumi Mogorosi – Project ELO

jmancd069A DJ friend of mine once told me: “I don’t listen to anything except Free Jazz anymore”, as he slipped me this French Free Jazz masterpiece to dub. I had been listening to Free and Spiritual Jazz for a while, and I’ll always remember the serious tone of my friend and how it had changed his life. I, like many others, including the musicians who make the music, remember when we have that epiphany. When the exact moment the voyage into this often uncharted territory of music occurred. But imagine you’re a Jazz musician, and you just make a Jazz record that is spiritual, with no influence of the famous forays musicians like Donald Byrd or Mary Lou Williams, what then? Enter Project ELO.

Project ELO is a project from the South African drummer Tumi Mogorosi. ELO stands for Elohim, the angelic entities of the spiritual scriptures that are the philosophy of Tumi’s, a symbol for the accomplished human beings. Recorded live over two days with no overdubs, this recording takes a snapshot of South African Jazz at that place and time. If you don’t know what this type of Jazz sounds like, you’ll be surprised at what Mogorosi and friends can do. Non conventional in the sense of “songs”, Project ELO channels Coltrane’s Love Supreme on tracks like “Inner Emergence” and “Slaves Emancipation” while Gabisile Motuba, the wife of Tumi delivers the only vocal performance in the recording on “Thokozile Queen Mother” )a song dedicated to Tumi’s Mother, a great influence on his artistic styles). All in all, this is a beautiful piece of vinyl to own. It’s one of those records that decades later, you’ll still be able to appreciate the beautiful music being offered up here. Out on June 30th on Jazzman records, this one definitely is deep.

Thokozile Queen Mother

Get the record from Jazzman here.

Keep Diggin’!

One response to “Tumi Mogorosi – Project ELO

  1. I love free jazz, but if a friend unironically said “I don’t listen to anything except Free Jazz anymore”, I just don’t know man.

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