Monday, 27 July 2009

Letta Gets It On

Today we feature the female half of one of the great husband and wife music making teams - no not Cher, Tammy Wynette or even Eydie Gorme. It is Letta Mbulu who with her husband Caiphus Semenya and on her own has made some fantastic records since the mid-1960s when they joined other South African jazz cats like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Jonas Gwangwa in exile in the US.

As well as recording under her own name, and in duets as Caiphus & Letta, Letta was also a favourite of Quincy Jones for a while, featuring on his soundtracks for "Roots" and "The Color Purple" and on Jacko's "Liberian Girl". She and Caiphus moved back to South Africa in the early 1990s and are still going strong, although Letta hasn't recorded for a few years.

Here are a couple of tracks from her 1970 LP "Letta": "Mahlalela" (written by Caiphus) and "Macongo" (written by Hugh Masekela, who also plays on the track).

And here she is in action with "Nomalizo":

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