A Spear to the Soul/Mkuki Wa Roho

COMPOSERS: Charles Zawose,Hukwe Zawose,Traditions Tunisian
LABELS: Womad Select
PERFORMER: Hukwe Zawose, Charles Zawose (vocals, instruments)


 HUKWE AND CHARLES ZAWOSE’s CD styles itself ‘traditional Tanzanian’, inviting the response that surely either it’s Tanzanian or it’s traditional (as the country’s only existed since 1964), and indeed their music comes from the Wagogo who were around long before anybody drew lines on the map.

Hukwe has taken a lead in keeping it alive and still creative. Playing various sizes of thumb piano and fiddle, including his own 14-string variant inspired by the kora from the other side of the continent, he and his nephew accompany themselves in old songs and self-composed ones.


The music is quiet, agile and totally captivating, especially since the Zawoses have cunningly programmed the CD to offset the high, ringing sonorities and the insistent rotating figures with changing textures and rhythmic patterns – this month’s star issue.