Saturday, 3 July 2010

Made in Manenburg: Early Tony Schilder Trio with Leslie Kleinsmith (1984)

There have been so many exceptional musicians emanating from Cape Town’s Schilder family, it is easy to become confused. The compositions and piano playing of brothers Tony and Chris are legend – with Chris’ fame building on the classic “Spring” with Winston Mankunku Ngozi in the 1960s, and then on to the group Pacific Express.

Tony was born in 1937 into a musical family with 14 children. Their father was a professional musician, while their musical mother is said to have been an important inspiration. In addition to Chris and Tony, siblings  Richard, Jackie and Philip were also prominent musicians. Tony’s son Hilton is also a succesful musician.

Tony’s first commercial album “Introducing Tony Schilder” was produced by Jonathan Butler and was released in 1985. The consummate live entertainer, Tony Schilder was recorded at a number of earlier gigs, with his “Jazz in Transit” guest performance at the Baxter Theatre with Morris Goldberg in 1982 a sought after item by collectors in the know.

Today’s rarity is a 1984 SABC transcript recording of the Tony Schilder Trio with Leslie Kleinsmith on vocals, with five of the twelve numbers penned by Tony himself. While the SABC vinyl does not credit other members of the trio, it is almost certain that the bass player was Gary Kriel, with either Monty Weber, Richard Picket of Cecil Ricca on drums.

Highly respected and loved as Cape Town’s “gentleman of jazz”, Tony Schilder has been seriously ill over the past two years, with devastating medical costs. The Western Cape Musician’s Association has set up a benevolent fund to try and help the family with daily frail care needs and medical costs. His re-issued CD, the Tony Schilder Trio, and his more recent “B Positive” CD can be purchased online from i-tunes here, and also here. If you would like to read about the Tony Schilder heritage project and make a contribution, you can make contact with the Western Cape Musician’s Association here. You can also read more about Tony here.

Many of the songs shared on today’s vinyl rip do not feature on the more recent and available CDs. If you like what you hear, please do make the effort and purchase his available work.

POSTSCRIPT: The Schilder family really would benefit from some support. Tony's son Hilton is undergoing costly treatment for cancer. A trust fund has been set up - see more information here.

Made in Manenburg: The Tony Schilder Trio with Leslie Kleinsmith (vocals).
SABC Recording, Cape Town, 1984. LT 20 225
Producer: Dave Williams

1. Tomorrow (Strause/Charmin)
2. Theme from Black Orpheus (Luis Bonfa)
3. Flying High (Tony Schilder)
4. Madeleine (Tony Schilder)
5. Green Dolphin Street (Kaper/Washington)
6. The Second Time Around (Cahn/can Heusen)
7. Gimme Lovin (Tony Schilder)
8. Montreal (Tony Schilder)
9. Days of Wine and Roses (Henry Mancini)
10. Where is Love (Lionel Bart)
11. Stella by Starlight (Washington/Young)
12. Aaron’s Song (Tony Schilder).

RS here
MF here


  1. Oh man, your timing, posting Schilder stuff just a few days before Robbie died.

    I was listening to Gimme Lovin' from the 1995 CD in preparation for a post on SA music just as I opened your blog (needed a pic of Spirits Rejoice).

    I do love the 1985 album better -- Madeleine is an all-time favourite song -- so I'm excited to hear the SABC session.

    BTW, Hilton seems to be ill, but is in good spirits, according to my colleague who saw him at Don Pedros in Woodstock a few days ago. I hear Tony is not well either.

  2. i would like to purchase the Made in Manenberg album ,how do i go about buying it?

  3. This album is not for sale anywhere. You can however download it for free on Electric Jive - between the two photographs of the record labels you will see "MF here" - click on the "here" and it will take you to a secure link on mediafire to download a zipped 80mb file of the album. Enjoy.

  4. So glad I have this in my collection for over 20 years.


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