tumi mogorosi – group theory: black music

On Tumi Mogorosi’s first album as leader since 2014’s ‘Project ELO,’ the South African drummer employs a ten-person choir to convey a sense of history and commonality. The title itself heavily draws on the notion of community, where singulars in small groups are thrust into finite sets. ‘Group Theory: Black Music’ asks, “what is an individual or a group when all are active at the same time?” It offers abstract thoughts before answers; the well-supported, rotational solos are just one example of the ‘decentering’ that swims around the album. The sharpest points are in the jazz compositions, where a noetic quality thrives in the form of layers of comradeship. 

23/30

A favourite: ‘At the Limit of the Speakable’

‘Group Theory: Black Music’ is out now via Mushroom Hour and New Soil. 

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