Monday, 19 August 2013

Dudu Pukwana and the Jazz Disciples (1964)

L-R: Barney Rachabane, Dennis Mpale (drums) Tete Mbambisa,
drummer Timmy Kweblulana on bass. (Pic: Ian Huntley)
The Room at the Top (featured in the picture above) was another Cape Town live jazz venue that hosted legendary performances in the 1960s. Two things are striking about this picture of Ian Huntley's: Two of the musicians have swopped roles, with trumpeter Dennis Mpale playing drums, and drummer Timmy Kwebulana playing bass (he toured with Victor Ntoni for the Japan performances of Meropa).

This picture of Tete Mbambisa sitting on a very makeshift piano stool also tells a story of challenges of a different kind. Ian Huntley recalls that the particular piano featured in the picture - and in the recordings shared below - had one fairly important key that simply did not work. The genius that was Tete Mbambisa improvised around his found circumstances. My own limited musical expertise means I did not hear any difference in the recording shared here - perhaps you might notice?

My journey of working on Ian Huntley's jazz archive is approaching an important milestone. The promised book of Ian's pictures has moved to the design and layout phase, with the release scheduled for mid-November this year. Without giving too much away, the book will contain more than 100 pictures chosen by Ian, a short biography of Ian, an essay by Jonathan Eato, and a full discographical listing of the more than 56 hours of recordings made by Ian.

Photographer Cedric Nunn was engaged to work long hours in restoring the digitally scanned black and white and colour images to their pristine original selves, taking away years of residual fungus and scratch marks.

Electric Jive's 'very own' Siemon Allen is voluntarily giving a huge chunk of his time to design the book and lay it out ready for the printers. Siemon is currently a Guggenheim Fellowship holder.

So, what better way to celebrate the anticipation of the launch of a book of Ian's photos than with these rather special recordings made by Ian before Dudu Pukwana left the country with the Blue Notes in July 1964.

Pukwana joins the Jazz Disciples in giving us seven tracks extended over more than two hours, including local compositions Vortex Special (Chris McGregor) Mr Mecca, Tete's Jump, and Leads Dwana (Tete Mbambisa). Due to size, the files are split into two downloads.

Please enjoy!

If you have not yet had chance to access previous posts of Ian's Cape Town jazz archive on Electric Jive (it stretches back to April 2012), use the search function in the right-hand box of this blog and look for "IBH Jazz".

Tape 18   Room at the Top (1964)

7 tracks at 2:11:25

Dennis Mpale (trumpet), Ronnie Beer (tenor sax), Dudu Pukwana (alto sax), Tete Mbambisa (piano), Martin Mgijima (bass), Max ‘Diamond’ Dayimani (drums).

1. Milestones (31:54)

2. Mr Mecca (15:25)

3. Leads Dwana (11:32)

4. Bag’s Groove (15:36)

5. Tete’s Jump - incomplete (19:30)

6. Arabia (18:21)

7. Vortex Special (20:26)

Part 1:  Mediafire here

Part II:  Mediafire here


  1. This is very tasty indeed. Thank you

  2. Hurray! Thank you for this. Will the book be available through the usual suspects online? -MB

  3. Thanks good people. @MB the book, while it will be of high quality and hard cover, will be self-published with Electric Jive - the production and printing costs will exceed the sales revenue, no doubt. We are printing 500 copies, individually numbered - for now, our capacities and voluntary time limits mean the book will be available via electricjive. If anything changes between now and November we will be sure to let yo know.

  4. From the UK side we are hoping that a number of specialist bookstores (music-related) will stock small quantities.

  5. This bass is going to break my speakers.

  6. I can't quite believe I'm going to hear this. Many thanks.

  7. Help
    both downloads are part 2 where are the first 5 songs please?
    jacqui long

  8. @anonymous - I have checked the rapidshare links and they are two different parts. It is more difficult to check on mediafire. Apologies if mediafire is two of the same links. please use rapidshare for now - I am unfortunately on a very tight work/travel schedule for the rest of this month and there is little I can for now. Chris

  9. Brilliant post - thanks to all concerned - much appreciated

  10. A wonderful post. Then again, I have never been disappointed by a post on this blog. The knowledge and appreciation of the music is apparent in every post. I have always loved many genres of South African music but I have learned so much from this blog and acquired so much great music from it that is otherwise not readily available here in the U. S.

    I have previously availed myself of downloads without taking the time to express thanks, so please accept this belated appreciation for the time and effort that you and the other contributors expend to making this a unique and first-rate affair.

  11. Feilimid, many thanks for your kind words of appreciation

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. A great blog with great Posts. Unfortunally the RS links are gone. Any Chance of a reup? (At MF both links are still Pt. 2). Cheers from Germany

  14. Other than Dudu Pukwana I am unfamiliar with these musicians. I have a few of Pukwana's later albums so these early tracks are welcome. Many thanks.


  15. I'm loving the second part and I'm dying to listen to the first one but unfortunately the RS link is not available no more. Would you be able to reupload it?
    Thanks you very much for sharing something so good

  16. You can access the full tape of this (Tape 18) on the Huntley Archive. Just click on the picture of the book "Keeping Time" in the right hand column, and you can download the book, browse all 56 hours of music, and more. As soon as I find a spare moment I will also update this page with the proper mediafire links

  17. The links have been updated and fixed - apologies for taking so long to getting around to it.

    1. thanks for this great music. Is it possible to listen Tete Mbambisa - Tete's big sound ? I bought Black Heroes and I want more from Tete, areal giant of jazz piano.
      Alessandro from Italy


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