MELLOWNESS is the word that first strikes the mind upon listening to Adam Chisvo’s latest offering, Famba Pore Pore.
This is to be expected from someone credited withÂ expandingÂ the versatility of the mbira instrument beyond its ceremonial homeplace —— so to speak —— and turning it into a driving element behind many of Zimbabwe’s greatest hits, as his involvemt in Ilanga, Andy Brown and the Storm and partnership with Chiwoniso Maraire will attest.
There is a reflective quality in the deep calm voice with which Adam croons that speaks of someone who has been there and done it all in the 11-track album.
Great effort has been made to create a harmonious arrangement of instrumentation andÂ vocals which ultimately serves to create a conduit for the dissemination of hisÂ ideas and thoughts.
The album contains Chisvo’s own compositions and incorporates a full backing band to augment the multi-level polyrythhmns of his mbira playing, so says the album sleeve.
Â On the album Adam takes the role of a raconteur chronicling the issues that evolve and revolve in his stratum of the African society.
In Mukadzi he voices his disinclination to be hasty in the decision to marry since marriage is too important to be done in a hurry.
He also talks about the petty jealousies of a woman in a polygamous marriage,who goes out of her way to do despicable things to win the favour of her husband in Shanje, and explores the folly of success and its effects on the fabric of people who had hitherto conducted themselves with humility in Zvinoita Munhu.
The backing vocals are supplied by the familiar voice of Busi Ncube and Tozi Madzima and, true to form, Adam is on the mbira, percussion and shakers as well.
Produced at Thulani Studios the album will be followed up by a number of choreographed live performances in Harare. Pore Pore sums up the tempo of the album; a laid back, thoughtful and insightful perspective on the goings-on of life.
BY NGONI MUZOFA