Which Way Now carries a wonderful recorded radio concert, interesting art work and a well consistent booklet. The recording is equally pleasing when the musicians snuggle the gaps and spaces instead of deftness; though it’s easy to yearn for the buoyant luxuriance of Isipingo’s rhythmic material.
Isipingo is an UK based group formed more than 30 years ago by South African born bassist Harry Miller. Well known in the Briton jazz scene for his famous record label Ogun, Miller deploys here tons of creativity and high compositional skills. The band displays a keen sense of listening and communication all its own. In these pieces, Isipingo reaches deep into their cornucopia of grooves, allowing long solos and other traditional means.
As Which Way Now begins, Nick Evans, Mongezi Feza, Harry Miller, Louis Moholo, Mike Osborne and Keith Tippett swiftly and smoothly lay down a groovy rhythm, the first of many occurrences in which the level of tacit communication between the band seems so clear and tight that one can only guess that they’d spent decades on stage together. Isipingo is consistently versatile, especially Feza and Miller, who seem to always find a new way in which to coax new sounds, but the abundance of variety in the rhythm of each player rarely leads to twisted tangents in straight directions.
It was only a matter of time before Cuneiform Records would release Isipingo in a setting such as this. And considering the beauty and character Isipingo pulls off in Which Way Now, it’s not hard to wish that these artists will continue to play somehow....