Two killers from Jabula – overlooked Afro soul albums from the 70s! The set mixes up the track list a bit, but still comprises both full albums from the group – the first of which is the self-titled Jabula. Jabula is South African soul, but recorded in the UK – coming across with a post-colonial vibe that's mighty nice! Jabula have a sound that's a bit like Osibisa – heavy in African roots, but also trained a bit more towards a 70s soul audience as well – with some very tight arrangements that really help focus their energy strongly – and make the album a surprisingly great debut! Most cuts have female vocals in the lead – but the instrumentation is also pretty great too – with some killer reed work from Dudu Pukwana
, and lots of warm keyboards too. Titles include the great instrumentals "Naledi", a snaking funky track with a great soprano sax solo, and "Let Us Be Free", which is kind of an Afro-descarga number, with lots of guitar – and other cuts include "Thandi", "Jabula Happiness", "Listen To Me Crying", and "Our Fathers". Thunder Into Our Hearts is a great second set from Jabula – and a record that seems to push the jazzy component of their sound even further than before! The ensemble has really wonderful rhythms – great bass and percussion that get nice and funky at times, and which are often mixed with some really sweet keyboard parts. But the horns also have a great UK jazz approach too – reeds from Dudu Pukwana
, trombone from Nick Evans, and even (supposedly) a bit of trumpet from Mongezi Feza – all of whom really help give the music a complex, modern vibe that goes way beyond other Afro-styled groups of this nature. Tunes are a mix of vocals and instrumentals – and titles include "Soweto My Love", "Tears Of Africa", "Thunder Into Our Hearts", "Harvest (part 2)", and "Journey To Africa".