Gito Baloi: Sweet Thorn

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COMPOSERS: Gito Baloi,Nibs van der Spuy
LABELS: Greenhouse Music
PERFORMER: Gito Baloi (bass, guitars) Nibs van der Spuy (guitars)


This posthumous release from Gito Baloi, who was shot dead last year in his prime, showcases the great accompanist’s long-standing acoustic collaboration with a cosmopolitan lead guitarist. Unclassifiable and beautiful, the music improvises its way across Latin and African rhythms in an easy-paced flow of quiet inventiveness.


Nibs van der Spuy’s melodic gifts are backed up by Baloi’s one-man mix of guitars, light percussion and occasional supporting vocals, plus a couple of outside contributions on flute and violin. ‘Mountain Wind’, the third track, was the last piece Baloi ever performed live and also features in a memorial compilation on Sheer Sound (SLCD 071) which ranges across his whole career, though the new release has more focus and is the one to hear. Robert Maycock