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Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Macka: Mumbo Jumbo

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Macka: Mumbo Jumbo

Kicking off their colourful debut album in style, Rotorua’s Macka (named for bandleader Lindsay ‘Macka’ Mackenzie) uniquely blend Latin, fusion, pop and funk. It features Robbie Paterson (bass, slide, keys and vocals – plus recording engineer), Ernie Semu (keys), Mickey Ututaonga (drums, percussion), Vicky-Mae (vocals), Grant Haua (slide) and Macka on vocals, guitar and harmonica. Some major names there. Opener Jealousy and Kahawian Pea Baby show off their fusion chops and penchant for nu-jazz, while the more down-tempo outings Wondering and Honestly reveal a love of early ’70s folk-rock. But it’s southern stompers Seeking The Truth and Pride Is A Bitch that see Macka take flight. Calling to mind southern American legends Little Feat and Dr. John, as well as America, ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ misses out on the aural enhancements of a big studio sound, but is still an easy, rewarding listen, with something new to discover on each spin. Macka’s harp playing is a highlight, bringing to life the blues soul at the heart of most of these arrangements. In a rich tradition of blues/funk rock, Macka would fit in nicely with many of the country’s more esteemed artists. Promising indeed.