Format: Vinyl
Label: Sticky Buttons
Rel. Date: 09/22/2023
UPC: 5050580811010

Paying My Bills
Artist: Dennis Mpale
Format: Vinyl

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When one of South Africa's most sought after trumpet players steps forward after a career alongside the very best in the International jazz scene, you know it's going to be a special record. Dennis Mpale was one of South Africa's heavyweights. You'll find his name springing up on every important South African jazz record and billing since the 1960's. Chris McGregor's iconic Jazz/The African Sound LP, Abdullah Ibrahim's Dollar Brand, Barney Rachabane in the highly influential ensemble Roots, and early work in house bands appearing alongside Nick Moyake in The Soul jazz Men to name just a few. His trumpet playing had character, an extension of the body and amplifier of that great South African sound. Leaving South Africa during Apartheid as a strong supporter and member of the ANC, Dennis made London his home, joining the newly established SA Jazz scene and standing in solidarity against the oppressions back in Africa. Moving between London and South Africa during the 70's and 80's It wasn't till the early 1990's when Dennis finally settled again to make his biggest transition to solo artist, redefining his Jazz past and putting a heavy kwaito infused house slammer on the agenda. 1994s 'Paying My Bills' (a title maybe more appropriate now than it ever has been) is a mighty jazz kwaito house effort: From the heavy synth beat and gorgeous floating solo opener of 'Paying My Bills', to the highly infectious vocal phrasing on thumping house anthem 'Take My Time'. Paying My Bills takes the sensibilities of a jazz maestro and pairs it with one of South Africa's biggest producers Peter 'Hitman' Moticoe, creating the perfect recipe for a certified summer slammer. Having previously only ever been released on CD, this is the first ever vinyl pressing of the album (hazy early test pressings lurk on a small number of lucky shelves). Vinyl mastering is handled by The Carvery's very own Frank Merritt here in London, with the resulting tracks generously split over 2 discs to fully appreciate the swampy heavy dub bass rolls for full dancefloor effect. It's loud and punchy and makes space for those glorious trumpet improvisations while keeping the synth refrains and heavy bass thumping.