Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunday Night at the Troubadour - Cape Town (1965)

Maurice Gawronsky at University of Cape Town 1973. Pic Ian Bruce Huntley
The endurance of three of the artists featured in this soulful session recorded by Ian Bruce Huntley in 1965 just has to be celebrated. In little over two weeks’ time Ebrahim Khalil Shihab (formerly Chris Schilder) will be taking his rightful place, centre stage at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
I am truly struck by the passage of forty eight years in being able to share this previously unreleased quartet recording. After all this time Maurice Gawronsky tells me matter-of-fact that he just can’t stop drumming.  In fact, he has gig lined up with Shihab over the eight-days jazz festival period. And Morris Goldberg, well he just continues to amaze me.

The only member of this quartet who is no longer with us is Bob Tizzard, who was at home both on bass and trombone – having played trombone on the legendary 1963 recording: Jazz The African sound. Bob’s son Paul is a drummer, and continues to run the piano tuning business that his father started in Cape Town.
The Troubadour Restaurant in Breda Street, Gardens was owned by Maurice Gawronsky until he sold it in 1967. Maurice recalls during the week it was more of a folk music venue where patrons would pay twenty five cents for entrance and a bottomless cup of coffee. Live jazz would take place on Sunday evenings.
Judging from this recording, The Troubadour was a relaxed place to spend a Sunday evening listening to fine music. I asked Maurice how often it was possible for groups to rehearse together, given that many of the musicians had day jobs too. “When there were big band gigs coming up, we would get together for a rehearsal or two, but for a quartet playing standards, we just fell into the groove on the night – no rehearsals, we knew each other well enough”.
I invite you to sit back, relax and be transported back to an unhurried 87 minutes of fine jazz making its way out of the Troubadour Restaurant into the Cape Town night. If you happen to recognise the last two tracks, please leave a comment and tell us what you think they might be.

This blog has a series of posts that feature the music recorded by Ian Bruce Huntley in Cape Town in the 1960s and early 70s. Use the search function (right hand side bar near the top). Look for IBH Jazz Archive.
Morris Goldberg (Saxophone); Chris Schilder (Piano); Bob Tizzard (Bass); Maurice Gawronsky (Drums).
1.    All of you (19:47)
2.    Spanish Thing (Morris Goldberg) (14:34)
3.    If I were a Bell (12:48)
4.    Now's the Time (Charlie Parker)  (10:16)
5.    Four (Miles Davis) (13:30)
6.    Unidentified (16:49)
Mediafire here
Rapidshare here


  1. Thanks for this wonderful post!
    It is the first time I hear the late Bob Tizzard playing the bass.
    I can add that Maurice is portrayed in the "Jazz People of Cape Town" (p.73-79).
    I saw him playing with a trio (Arthur Gilles and Basil Moses) at the Green Dolphin (Cape Town). That was the 8th of January 2008.
    He is a wonderful man !
    Many thanks again to Ian

  2. Track 5 is Miles Davis's 'Four'. I think Track 4 is (more or less) Charlie Parker's 'Now's the Time' rather than 'Straight No Chaser'. I wish I knew what Track 6 is – it's lovely. Bob D.

  3. You are really on a roll Bob D - many thanks again

  4. You're very welcome. It's fascinating to hear all this wonderful music from people not previously known to me here in the UK.
    Bob D. (with fond memories of the Brotherhood of Breath's time in London)

  5. OK great Bob - when I get a chance I will make a plan to post a 1962 recording of the Blue Notes made by Prof Robert Blacking at Wits University


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