This is an online find. Recorded live at the Bracknell (UK) and Willisau (Switzerland) Jazz Festivals. Zila Personnel: Dudu Pukwana (leader, alto and soprano saxophones and whistles), Pinise Saul (vocals, cabassa), Harry Beckett (trumpet and flugelhorn), Django Bates (keyboards), Eric Richards (electric bass), Paul Gamblin (guitar), Churchill Jolobe (drums), Thebe Lipere (percussion).
Pukwana, who left South Africa in 1964 played with Chris McGregor’s bands, The Blue Note (till that band split up) and Brotherhood of Breath. Later he formed his own bands, Assegai, Spear and Zila. He sadly died in 1990 before he could return to South Africa.
The song “Hug Pine (Bambalela)”–audio below–was composed by Pukwana and features fellow South African Saul, who still lives in London, on vocals.
Via Likembe (where you can hear the seven other tracks of that album)
Nigerian media company This Day (they also had a short-lived South African daily newspaper version of the title) launched its new monthly magazine, ARISE, late last year. This is the first and latest issue for 2009.
I am catching up. Speed-blogging about lots of things and topics, especially music, I have spotted around the blogosphere the last month. Like this performance by Maalem Benaissa, a famous Algerian musician of Gnawa, a genre practiced by an ethnic minority in that country. The instrument he is playing, is the gumbri. Benaissa passed away in November 2008.
No, the Angolan artist (performer, videographer, musician, poet, spoken word artist, provocateur), has a new website and he has a lot to say. The site includes his manifesto (where he announces, among others, the above) as well as a series of musical (?) performances.
I just discovered the music of the South African-born, London-based harmonica player Adam Glasser, who has just released his debut record, ‘Free at Last.” This is old school South African jazz. The tracks I liked–I bought them off iTunes–are an upbeat tune “Mjo” featuring Pinise Saul who performed with Dudu Pukwana and the two tracks “Low Six” and “African Jazz and Variety.” In the first song the poet David Serame in the first song Sophiatown, the slaughterhouses “where the Market Theater is now,” the group Low Six that came from Modderbee mine location. Glasser gets the mood right. In the second Serame (who performed with the Manhattans) recalls his maiden performance with the African Jazz and Variety Show (featured in the film Zonk). I’ve had them on loop for days now. The latter songs feel like oral history set to music. This is all nostalgia, but it feels good.
You can hear samples from “Low Six,” “Mjo” and the Caiphas Semenya composed “Part of a Whole” at Glasser’s Myspace page.
Lately I have been going on about how I mourn the demise of hip hop here in the US. As a result, I suggested, I am going into nostalgic mode (and will over the next few weeks and months list the best of what I consider hip hop’s best years). At the time I should have mentioned that at the same time I am astounded by the energy associated with the genre elsewhere. Especially Africa. But at least two commenters beat me to it: samboerou and Rusdie. Samboerou mentioned, for example, Afrolution and the German label Out Here.
But the group that has my fancy now is the Gabonese band, Movaizhaleine.
Global Voices Online recently had a great post with videos and links to songs, blogs, and audio reports that captures current developments in Congolese (DRC) music. It includes the music video, above, by the hip hop artist Baloji about Congo’s violent history.