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Originally published Friday, July 5, 2013 at 5:31 AM

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Oliver Mtukudzi at Jazz Alley

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“Sarawoga” is the best album Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Oliver Mtukudzi — affectionately known as “Tuku” — has made in years. Sadly, its emotional punch — and title, which means “left alone” — were sparked by the 2010 death of Tuku’s son. You don’t have to speak Shona to feel the pathos in the throaty-voiced desolation of the opening title track, the affection in the gorgeous, lilting ballad “Huroi” or the twinkling guitar lines that animate all the tunes. This stuff will cure whatever ails you. Mtukudzi performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $26.50 (206-441-9729 or

Paul de Barros, Seattle Times music critic

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