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Putumayo Presents South Africa

Putumayo Presents South Africa‘Putumayo Presents South Africa’

Putumayo Presents South Africa is very much “classic Putumayo” — take a country, pick a bunch of great songs, put ’em on an album, lather, rinse, repeat. If you’re a completist, or if you’re looking for a comprehensive representation of all the music that South Africa has to offer, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for a nice, well-sequenced sampler that gives you just a taste of South Africa, this is just the thing.


  • Excellent song selections — a nice taste of South Africa.
  • Great, informative liner notes and beautiful cover art.
  • 1% of proceeds go to charity: Artists for a New South Africa


  • If you prefer a comprehensive selection, this is not it.


  • Songs from Miriam Makeba, Soweto Gospel Choir, Soul Brothers, Mahube, Nibs van der Spuy and more!
  • Various genres of music represented: jazz, mbaqanqa, gospel, R&B, hip-hop
  • “Classic Putumayo” — simply a nice selection of upbeat music.

Guide Review – Putumayo Presents South Africa

Putumayo’s latest release, Putumayo Presents South Africa, is a pleasant and uplifting collection of songs from one of the world’s most fertile musical breeding grounds. It’s not a “greatest hits” album (no “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” here), nor is it intended as a comprehensive survey of all of the genres of music that South Africa has to offer. Rather, it’s a snappy 45 minutes of uplifting music, and that’s that.

The album does feature several internationally-known artists, including Grande Dame Miriam Makeba, singing “Orlando,” a recording from the 1950s with a timeless vintage vocal-jazz feeling. The Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir is also featured, with their unmistakeable group harmonies, performing the traditional Zulu praise song “Ngahlulele.”

Putumayo Presents South Africa also appropriately features a number of artists who are very well-known in South Africa, though not necessarily elsewhere. The hugely popular Soul Brothers’ contribution “Ujaheni,” which kicks things off as the first track, is a dance-friendly mbaqanqa number which sets a nice tone for the whole CD. Supergroup Mahube (fronted by musical director Steve Dyer, who also has a solo track on the album) offers up the smooth, poppy “Oxam,” a highlight of the album.

New-to-me artists from this album include Blk Sonshine, whose track “Nkosi” blends jazz and hip-hop into something quite lovely, and Nibs van der Spuy, whose reggae-folk number “Beautiful Feet” is, though a little bit precious, a nice mellow contrast to the largely upbeat majority of the songs on the record.

Putumayo Presents South Africa was released in May 2010 on Putumayo Records. Total playing time is 43.5 minutes.


June 17, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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