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Johannesburg Events Weblog

What: 🎵 Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O Presents True Story (Album Launch and Film Screening)

Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O Presents True Story (Album Launch and Film Screening)


Where: 🍸 Untitled Basement

How much:

🎟️ R350.00Quicket

With the second album from Malcolm Jiyane Tree-O, TRUE STORY, the trombonist and composer tells a cohesive narrative in which each song stands alone but is still representative of a whole. Without the cheap crutch of a silver lining, the album sonically and thematically captures a picture of what it feels like to live in South Africa, a country replete with the piercing screams of its ubiquitous shanties and overcrowded city hovels. This body of work represents a glimpse into Jiyane’s vast talents, and a further honing of a personal voice that is resolutely with the people.

While the Tree-O’s previous outing UMDALI presented a snapshot of an inspired few days of spontaneity, TRUE STORY is a more deliberately created opus. Again, Jiyane signals at us with homage, suggestive titling and his uncanny ability to fully embody the emotional register of a song. For the artist, TRUE STORY is a metaphorical autobiography, one that through a carefully textured musical palette, transmutes personal loss into a universally relatable statement about the wretched lot of his compatriots. Backed by the core unit of Ayanda Zalekile (bass), Lungile Kunene (drums), Gontse Makhene (percussion) and Nkosinathi Mathunjwa (piano/keys), along with a slew of contributors, many of them part of Mushroom Hour’s pool of collaborators, the bandleader sounds playful and irreverent as much as he is solemn and anguished. Several of the tracks feature backing vocals from the likes of Nosisi Ngakane, Dumama and Siya Makuzeni.

Jiyane speaks of the songs as being received from a divine source. His job, he says, was merely to funnel these messages to the public.