South African Jazz Legend Sathima Bea Benjamin's Recordings to be Reissued Digitally


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Legendary South African vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin will begin digitally reissuing her long out-of-print catalogue this year, including her 1963 album with Duke Ellington (A Morning in Paris), all the way to her 1999 album Cape Town Love.

June 19, Sathima digitally released Cape Town Love, an album recorded during a return trip to her native South Africa. The album showcases the pianistic talents of Henry February, a pioneer in the early Cape Jazz scene, and mentor to major South African jazz figures as Abdullah Ibrahim, Chris McGregor, and Sathima. Prior to this, the album had only been available in South Africa.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Sathima Bea Benjamin is one of South Africa's musical treasures, and has over the years established herself as one of the greatest living jazz singers in the world, having worked with such musical legends as Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and her husband, Abdullah Ibrahim. Throughout her career, Sathima has recorded 11 albums, earned a Grammy nomination, and received in 2004 the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa's highest honor.

As a singer, Sathima's interpretations of standards have earned her a devoted audience and the highest praise of critics. Jules Epstein of the Philadelphia Tribune writes, “there may be ten great jazz singers alive today, and Sathima Bea Benjamin is unquestionably one." In Jazztimes, Robin D.G. Kelley described Sathima as “South Africa's greatest jazz singer and one of the best the world has ever known."

In October 2007, Sathima will celebrate her 71st birthday by digitally re-issuing A Morning in Paris, her long-lost 1963 recording, featuring Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Abdullah Ibrahim as pianists.

The remainder of Sathima's catalogue will be released by mid-2008, including the Grammy Award nominated Dedications.

This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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