The big box of LP records that I left behind in Tasmania contained many musical treasures, but I sold my player a few years ago and so they had all been neglected and forgotten for some time. I’d be giving too many clues about my age if I gave details (as if “LP” wasn’t enough!), though many were collected more recently from second-hand shops and some of the classics came from my parents. What a tragic loss!
Every now and then I have a flash recollection of sounds from my past that remained in that box, and I look back upon a record by Themba Tana as one of the more formative influences upon me and my musical preferences.
I bought “Themba Tana and African Heritage” when I was 14 years old after seeing him perform, and I played it loudly and often. I was particularly struck by the variety of percussion instruments which, according to the album liner notes, included “gumboot with bells”.
Themba Tana is a classically trained musician who was born and educated in South Africa before moving to Canada, where he continues to perform, compose and teach. He specialises as a drummer and is influenced by his extensive travel and collaborations with diverse musicians.