South African contemporary Jazz artist Talie Monin blows refreshing breeze from lake
Written by Qello Mapanya on July 30, 2020
Talie Monin, one of South Africa’s greatest contemporary Jazz exports, is making waves with her performance of ‘Simone (So Sublime)’ from the first-ever HIEC Jazz on the Lake Festival in Hangzhou, China.
Monin’s contemporary Jazz originals and classic Jazz interpretations are always distinctive and refined. This recording gives Jazz enthusiasts a front-row seat to experience Talie Monin in a live setting and all that this encompasses.
Her new arrangement of the Jazz standard is sprightly and unique. ‘So Sublime’ adds simple, feel-good lyrics as well as an upbeat twist – all held together with Monin’s powerful vocals.
“For true Jazz lovers who know the Frank Foster version, I intended to breathe new life into the song,” Monin explains. “I think that is best conveyed in a live setting. It shows the sophistication and high level of Jazz that this song gave to listeners all those years ago when it was first recorded. And I would like it to remind listeners of how fresh and modern Jazz can be, no matter how traditional and ‘old’ it is as an art form. It is not dated. It still commands the listeners’ full attention.”
The compelling bassline is complemented by soft guitar and piano solos which grow and flow and ebb as the song unfolds. Monin maintains the perfect balance of this combination while showing incomprehensible control over her voice in the live performance.
Listen to “So Sublime” here –
The successful festival’s line-up boasted a mix of musicians from Asia to Europe for a real cultural journey.
“I was so proud to be an ambassador of my race, my language, my country, and my continent through my music,” she says, “To have the opportunity to showcase the depth of music knowledge and versatility of a South African musician to the world.”
An ambassador for South Africa and so much more, Monin’s well-balanced music continuously intertwines with her Zulu roots, as illustrated in her debut album ’24 Strathay’ with singles such as ‘Ntyilo Ntyilo’ and ‘Thula Mntwana’.
This experienced world musician is truly a gem in the crown of South African Jazz.