I had never heard of musician Wouter Kellerman before receiving his latest CD, called Mzansi, but he apparently is popular in his homeland (South Africa, where he wins major music awards) and Australia (where he tours regularly). This new recording could start to introduce Kellerman to a more global audience, especially in the United States. Every year that goes by world music becomes more popular all over the planet with people on the other side of the globe listening to and enjoying music from Japan, China, the Mideast, India, South America and Africa. Kellerman seems to realize this and makes his bid to spread his sound to new continents with Mzansi, an album that fuses world music (primarily African singing and rhythms) with folk and pop (and even some new age and modern classical).
Kellerman is a flutist, but also co-produced the album. He seems to be the band-leader, cheer-leader and primary creative force behind the music. It is to his credit that he brings in excellent musicians and singers to assist him in creating this stunning music and these creative arrangements. The music ranges from the solo flute track “In The Moment” to the frenzied “Fire Drill” with drums, bass, keyboards and excited flute-playing plus a 35-second rap break in the middle of the tune. Wild! “Cape Flats” is mellow while “Mama Tembu” is an African groove tune. The title track features Kellerman’s flute and some female background singers as it builds into a very pretty, upbeat piece.
Kellerman seems to take some traditional African elements, plus contemporary musical bits and pieces from Africa and all over the world, and blends them in an international stew so that you never know what flavor you will taste next. Hard to say if this is the new wave of African music or the next wave of world-fusion music or simply some good new music. Terms and definitions do not really matter when the music sounds this enjoyable.