|The core of what became the "Soul Jazzmen" at Salt River - Vuyiswa Ngcwangu (or possibly Nosisi Rululu),|
Duku Makasi, Dennis Mpale Nick Moyake, Psych Big T Ntsele, Tete Mbambisa: Pic Ian Bruce Huntley
|Nick Moyake, Dennis Mpale, Duku Makasi: Pic Ian Huntley|
Nick (Nikele) Moyake can be considered the 'gódfather' in this band as it was him who taught both Duku Makasi and Dudu Pukwana to play saxophone. Johnny Dyani recalled Moyake as the influence in South Africa.
|Mackay Davashe and Nik Moyake|
Dorkay House 1966
Pic: Ian Huntley
In her book on Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath, Maxine McGregor describes Moyake's playing as 'much more peaceful and laconic .. than Dudu, he was the master of creating an átmosphere'with his tenor, its soft mellow voice reminiscent of quiet places, walks by the riverside, golden afternoons. He was a complex person person, Nik, with his slow deep voice, his eyes soft, slanty, almond-shaped; looking deep into your eyes, he could talk you into almost anything."
Moyake's death reverberated among South African jazz lovers. Both Johnny Dyani and Dudu Pukwana composed songs entitled "Blues for Nick", Shakes Mgudllwa composed "Tribute to Nick", and in 1969 Dennis Mpale's Soul Giants recorded the album "I Remember Nick", which you can find here.
|Nick Moyake at Dorkay House (1966).|
Pic Ian Huntley
Returning to issues of attitude and confidence, Johnny dyani relates a story in various documented interviews, Jurg Solothurnmann in 1983) and to Aryan Kaganof in 1985 interview of Nick Moyake becoming angry with the way in which he felt treated by Wayne Shorter down at a party hosted by Dollar Brand in Zurich in 1965. “I remember Nick in Zurich at Dollar’s party. Dollar invited the Miles Davis group rhythm section: Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter. Nick told Wayne Shorter right in front of us when we were at that party, just pheww! That guy even today when he sees me, when he sees the Blue Notes, I wonder ’cos that guy might hate us or some shit because he cannot stand what Nick told him. Dollar said, ‘This is Nick Moyake.’ Nick holds this guy’s hand man. He holds it, grips it, and says, ‘You ain’t shit. What you play I played it before.’ And he holds his hand; the guy is pulling his hand! We were there in this party in Zurich. Dollar said, ‘How can you do this at my party, why you so rude to my guests?’ So Nick said, ‘He ain’t shit I played this before. He’s coming with an attitude.’ But WE! We were full of shit of man!”.
|Vuyiswa 'Viva' Ngcwangu as she appears |
on the Record sleeve of the
Winston Mankunku Show (1968)
Jurg Solothurnmann relates the same Dyani story as ".. somehow Nick was very annoyed, I don't know because of the attitude Wayne Shorter gave him or what. But I heard nick telling Wayne: "I used to play what you are playing". I knew he was very advanced, but I was shocked that he was aware of it and was speaking up even though he was very shy."(quoted in Lars Rasmussen's book on the photographs of Hardy Stockman).
In the late 1950s the Ambassadors School of Dancing in Woodstock (its original name) was home to a group of jazz musicians who regularly jammed there - including Chris McGregor, Cups and Saucers Nkanuka, Christopher Columbus Ngcukana, Dave Galloway, and Martin Mgijima. A year after the departure of the Blue Notes to Europe, the Ambassadors was still hosting amazing sessions with the remaining stalwarts – including this one with the returned Blue Note, Nick Moyake.
You can find the original Soul Jazzmen recording of Inhlupekho here.
If you have not yet had chance to explore other Electric Jive postings from Ian Huntley's audio archive, the easiest way to do this is to use the search function on the right hand column of this blog. Search "IBH Jazz".
A full discography of Ian's 56-hour audio archive, and around 130 of Ian's photos will be published by Electric Jive as a non-profit tribute book at the end of this year. More details to follow.
"Soul Jazzmen" at The Ambassadors (1965)
Unknown female vocalist (possibly Vuyiswa Ngcwangu), Dennis Mpale (trumpet), Nik Moyake (sax), Duku Makasi (sax), Shakes Mgudlwa (piano), Psych Big T Ntsele (bass), Peter Jackson Jnr. (drums)
1. Milestones (13:13)
2. Unidentified track (14:48)
3. Track 3 - unidentified (3:19)
4. Track 4 - unidentified (8:10)
5. Love for Sale (3:42)
6. 'Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered' (Rodgers & Hart). (5:21)