In this write up, staff writer JAMES CHAVULA gives an intimate review of musician Patience Namadingo’s mashup project with Black Missionaries Band.
Call 990! Patience Namadingo is breaking the rules and it appears his demolition mission will not leave any hitmaker worth a mashup untouched.
The musician, whose take on the miraculous wine of Cana irked conservative fans of his gospel touch, marches on in a trending mission to dismantle and remake good ole hits despite the recent flop with Billy Kaunda.
The latest outcome is a scintillating 12-minute beauty of voices in a bit-by-bit musical outing with Black Missionaries, an old-fashioned band that invites him into some shrubs by a rocky river for a session that will certainly please many ears opposed to the previous attempt.
From hotel-room encounters with both newcomers and veterans to the battle of voices in the shrubbery on the rocky riverbank, Namadingo prolongs his agenda to sing with the best and give his audience something new from the hits they hum unknowingly.
This time, the solo artist engages the reggae boys in a 13-song act that soothingly brings to mind the best of the group’s fallen fathers Evison Matafale and Musamude Fumulani as well as the latter’s siblings Anjiru and Chizondi.
And the band astutely defends its offerings both new and old, save for some slumps and slip-ups when Anjiru robotically plays to Namadingo’s tune.
The two intermingle effortlessly in a story of similar voices—one naturally accustomed to dictating the pace of the songs at play during frequent live performances and the other determined to shatter tradition in a one-off collaboration contrived to squeeze a new song from the Blacks’ well-known playlist.
By the fourth bit, Sapita Nawo, the visiting voice takes over and dictates both the pace and intonation of the songs as Anjiru follows. Such is the tricky side of the mash-ups certainly initiated by Namadingo’s handlers that even old-school artists they rope in find themselves trying too hard to sound like the solo star.
This was the case during his highly-praised sitting with Soldier Lucius Banda and unexpected wilt in a meeting with Billy Kaunda in the heights of the Presidential Hotel at Umodzi Park in Lilongwe.
In the latest mix, Chizondi swiftly takes to the microphone to rescue his brother, Anjiru, from sliding deeper into a style only Namadingo has mastered.
When the versatile keyboardist grabs the microphone, he offers a timely break from the droning brilliance of similar tone as his hoarse voice brings to life Reggae Music High. Written by Matafale before he died in a police cell, the song was originally voiced by Musamude on Kuimba 3 album which marked the inauguration of the band’s run without its famous founder.
But Chizo is not a nomadic vocalist though his fleeting acts scream DIVERSITY all the way! Typically, he defies the dictates of his dominant smooth-voiced peers and stays true to his husky vocal chords as Namadingo’s rogue vocals persistently search for another prisoner.
Every reggae group needs that throaty voice Chizondi brings to the Black Missionaries as does Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage or did Peter Tosh before the original Wailers disbanded.
After a short recess created by Chizo’s disruptive, rebellious gravelly voice that aptly terminates the monotonous beauty of lighter voices when it mattered most, Anjiru comes back on song both rejuvenated and in control as Namadingo switches to Mkango wa Yuda.
This time, the Blacks’ lead vocalist seems keen not to lose a bit of the touch that separates him as the Chileka-based reggae empire’s Special One—especially when retreating