Picks and Pans Review: Paul Simon's Graceland: the African Concert

updated 05/18/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/18/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Showtime (Sat., May 16, 10 p.m. ET)

A+

Just plain great. Paul Simon's Graceland album is fresh, exciting and seductive. His concert is that—and more. By joining with South African musicians and spreading their harmonies and rhythms around the world on four million records, Simon has resuscitated the cliché about music bridging cultural boundaries. Now, for Showtime, he takes his music to Zimbabwe, playing to 20,000 black and white fans in a nation that ended its racial separatism seven years ago. The symbolism is nice. The music is superb. Simon sings most of the numbers from his album and generously shares his stage with trumpeter Hugh Masekela and singer Miriam Makeba, both South African exiles, and with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, his delightful a cappella backup group. All of this is simply and elegantly produced, with gorgeous scenes of African life cut into the concert. I've watched it five times already. The show is as addictive as the album.

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