Among all the indigenous idioms with which jazz has intermingled the music of South Africa has been an especially natural fit. Such rainbow nation musicians as Abdullah Ibrahim, Dudu Pukwana and Louis Moholo have been responsible for some of the most distinctive and ebullient jazz ever made. Whatever drove the Norwegian pianist Andreas Loven to study jazz in Cape Town, the fact it happened at all is a perfect snapshot of the globalisation of the music.
Loven recorded this album there with South African players, and while the typical Scandinavian compositional traits of spaciousness and wistful beauty are in place, he has also clearly bought into the local culture, with the rhythms and melodies of pieces like Inside District Six and African Piano (a rolling 5/4 groove) immediately evoking the sound of the Townships. Tenor saxophonist Buddy Wells is a sparse player who likes to work with short, stabbing phrases, and the rhythm section of drummer Clement Benny and bassist Romy Brauteseth is marvellously supple, with the latter contributing some of the strongest solos.