Bassist and composer, Benjamin Jephta and his quintet launch his debut album ‘Homecoming’ at The Orbit in Johannesburg on 7 and 8 February 2015.
After playing to sold-out audiences in Cape Town, this promises to be a performance not to be missed. These performances are proudly supported by the Concerts SA Mobility Fund and features Jephta on basses, Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums, Kyle Shepherd on piano, Marcus Wyatt on trumpet and Sisonke Xonti on tenor sax. Copies of the new CD will be on sale at the launch concert and will also be downloadable via all major digital platforms worldwide, during February 2015. [GARD]
In her review of the album, revered jazz journalist, Gwen Ansell wrote in the Business Day that “Cape-born, Johannesburg-based Jephta is only 22 but has already established himself as an in-demand bassist both for popular music (Loyiso Bala, Simphiwe Dana) and with various jazz artists on the Orbit stage.
But though Jephta the player is well known, the composer is still a relative stranger. This debut displays a gift for lyrical melodies that are strikingly memorable — perhaps not surprising, since he credits the church music he grew up with as a significant influence on his style.
The title track, which has already received some airplay, is a gentle, reflective ballad with a straightforward, plaintive theme. After that the compositions become more complex and challenging in structure and texture, but without sacrificing lyricism. Jephta’s album somehow sounds and feels like Cape Town without resorting to any of the clichés of the “Cape Jazz” genre — and with genuinely beautiful tunes and playing.” [GARD]
About the album, Benjamin says:
“As musicians coming from different training institutions, we are taught a variety of concepts and are exposed to various styles and genres of music. We are taught what is ‘hip’ and what is not. I assimilated what was trendy and emulated the people I looked up to. In the processes, I lost track of the real spirit of my music. The reason I play music, the essence of what first inspired me to compose a melody.
It’s that spirit I wanted to capture by calling this album ‘Homecoming’. I wanted to explore my own history and incorporate it into this sound. To capture the spark that was my first, purest love for music. Having been raised on the Cape Flats in Mitchells Plain and coming through the church, I want to give the listener a musical biography of my life by using the harmonies and melodies associated with that upbringing. As an artist, I believe one should create music that is significant (firstly) to you. I have always been captivated by this kind of honesty in the musicians I look up to. It is exactly what I’m hoping to achieve with this album: to move and uplift the spirit. To welcome you, the listener, to my musical home.”
View the full EPK of ‘Homecoming’ at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0SmUO8VJFo
Date: Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th February 2015
Duration: 2 Sets
Venue: The Orbit
Call: 011 339 66 45