Jazz aficionados should be pleased to learn that Kabo Leburu has finally released his debut album that will be available in stores very soon.
Kabo first made his way into the local jazz circuit in 2005, with a guitar slung over his shoulder, when he played with the now defunct band of young jazz instrumentalists called Dance Afrika.
The band, which Kabo led, was featured at Satchmo’s where they were resident between 2006 and 2007, with backing musicians such as Puna Gabasiane, Shanti Lo and Machesa. He also played alongside them at international jazz festivals in South Africa, such as Ketapele in Northam Thabazimbi in South Africa that saw him share the stage with Ringo Selaelo Selota, Simphiwe Dana and Sipho Mabuse.
While his band had disbanded before recording the album they collectively had dreamt of, Kabo has self-produced a ten-track debut titled Footsteps. The ten tracks include two guitar skits that begin and end the album. The title track features a rap by the Masta a local emcee, and Kabo on lead vocals. The album also features collaborations with some of Botswana own celebrated jazz musos, such as John Selolwane, Citie Seetso, Shanti Lo, Lister Boleseng and Tsilo Baitsile on. He has also roped in the talent of Mingy, a young woman from South Africa whose genre is Afro Pop.
The songs are composed by Kabo and illustrate an influence of Louis Mhlanga’s mbira patterned guitar style. The Zimbabwean jazz guitarist made an impression on Kabo when he began to learn the guitar, “I wanted to combine the finger picking style of Nduna Poifo with the jazz fusion of Earl Klugh…” until he heard Louis Mhlanga and Vusi Mahlasela’s live collaboration, Live At The Bassline. He has also managed to add his personality to the Mhlanga style he took to.
Kabo also draws inspiration from Botswana’s late great, Duncan Senyatso, Ismael Lo of Mali and Stevie Wonder.
However he had not abandoned the Setswana folk guitar style that has seen him record songs inspired by Nduna Poifo for Radio Botswana’s Sunday indigenous music show, Dipina le Maboko.
Kabo’s other preferred musical instrument is the harmonica, which he plays on two songs on the Footsteps album. The humble organ would perhaps enjoy new public interest as it has not enjoyed as much popularity as the rest of the conventional musical instruments that local jazz musicians take to.
Footsteps is self-produced by Kabo under his own record label, Musique Junction, which will also market and distribute the album. The album was recorded at So Hype Records.
Kabo Leburu will host a listening session for his debut album at Alliance Francaise on the 3rd October 2008 at 6pm.