Nyami Nyami Records present a lost piece of Zimbabwean musical history: the only album from local legends the New Tutenkhamen, combining Jazz, Soul, Folk and Township rhythms – available for the first time in over 40 years.
The New Tutenkhamen included many stars of Zimbabwean township music: Elisha Josamu was an alumnus of the fabulously-named Hallelujah Chicken Run Band (alongside Thomas Mapfumo), and Green Jangano’s long-running Harare Mambos, and would later form Two Plus Two with bassist Christopher “Chex” Tavengwa. Jethro Shasha played the drums, and would arguably become the New Tutenkhamen’s most famous export, making continental waves working with likes of Salif Keita. Paul Sekerani played the rhythm guitar, with Amos Chatyoka on the organ, while the enigmatic Maggie Mbuli provided vocals and F. Manda played the sax.
I WISH YOU WERE MINE was recorded at Teal Records and was produced by Crispen Matema, a talented jazz drummer in his own right who had played drums on the all-time classic “Skokiaan”, and had backed Louis Armstrong on his 1960 Rhodesia visit. Combining the heavyweight producing talents of Matema and the writing chops of Josamu, the New Tutenkhamen band created an album showcasing various musical styles popular at the time.
From the afro-jazz jam session aesthetics of “Tutenkhamen Theme”, “Big Brother Malcom” and “Forever Together”, to the almost Van Morrison-sounding “Sunday Morning”; from the upbeat rock ballad “True Love”, to the funk-infused dance song “Togetherness”; from the bouncy jazz exhortations to work hard in “Ane Nungo”, to the brassy, raunchy foot-stomper “Me & Dolly”. The title track “I Wish You Were Mine” is a ska-infused ballad that wouldn’t be out of place in post-war Birmingham, while the star of the show is “Joburg Bound”, itself a fast-paced rock piece with Motown undertones and funky guitar lines.