Monday, 12 May 2014

Jazz and Hot Dance in South Africa 1946-1959 (Harlequin 1985)


Compilations are the focus of a feature in the latest issue of UK magazine The Wire - a number of writers and commentators weigh in on revisionism, archiving, chronologies, lists and other topics. The first internationally released compilation of South African music, "Soweto" (on the West German label Zensor from 1982), gets a mention. Despite forging access to so-called "authentic" songs for international listeners after the hype of Malcolm McLaren's dalliance with mbaqanga it is this compilation from 1985 on the Harlequin label that continues to enjoy a "marker" status as the first LP compiling some of the earliest jazz from South Africa issued on the LP format. Until this album was issued you would have had great difficulty in listening to this legacy unless you were a 78 collector.

There remains an incredible legacy of South African jazz, marabi, boogie and jive still locked away on 78s gathering dust on collectors shelves. Until someone sorts out this travesty (and at Electric Jive we certainly try to unlock as many as we can) we will have to rely on compilations such as these which are now sadly out of print. For more in this genre do explore Soul Safari's Township Jive and Kwela Jazz which has brought a number of these compositions back into print.

This compilation was part of a series that Harlequin  completed covering early jazz in a number of outlying countries. Reproduced liner notes are available at flatinternational. Enjoy!



Various Artists: JAZZ & HOT DANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA 1946 - 1959 (Harlequin, 1985)
01. Pesheya Kwezo Ntaba - MANHATTAN BROTHERS WITH MERRY BLACKBIRDS' ORCHESTRA
02. Amazw' Amnandi - MANHATTAN BROTHERS
03. Mia Mia Bounce - BLACK BROADWAY BOYS
04. Jumping Jive - MANHATTAN STARS
05. Ndasuka Ekhayo - KING COLE BOOGIES WITH BB ALL STAR BAND
06. Swazi Stomp - AFRICAN SWINGSTERS
07. Ba Zali Bami - DOROTHY MASUKA AND HER HOT MUSIC
08. Organ Grinder's Swing - JAKE NTULI AND THE MANHATTAN BROTHERS
09. Unoya Kae - SHANTY CITY SEVEN
10. Amafosi - KING FORCE SILGEE'S JAZZ FORCES
11. uMgibe - BENNY G. MRWEBI AND THE HARLEM SWINGTERS
12. Rasberry Jazz Blues - JAZZ SWINGCOPATERS
13. U Boogie Woogie Wam - WALTER THELETSANE
14. Third Avenue Special - ALEXANDRA ALL STAR BAND
15. Take It! - BOOM BROTHERS
16. Meadowlands Boogie - SPOKES MASHIYANE AND FRANCE PILANE

Enjoy: MF / RS

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this - "Swazi Stomp" is a real corker & has been known to incite shimmying when played - be careful! MB

    ReplyDelete
  2. This album - apart from "Elias and his ZigZag Jive flutes" many many years ago (I know the real story now!) was my real introduction to SA music of that period. And its a great lp - I strongly recommend it. 'Meadowlands Boogie' has been on many of my compilation tapes and discs, but thats not even the best cut here.

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  3. Bruce RobinsonMonday, June 09, 2014

    This LP was not my intro to SA Jazz - in London I had heard the Brotherhood and Zila - but gave me a new insight into its history. In my ignorance, when my mum visited Cape Town in the 90s, I gave her a list of some of the performers on this LP and asked her to see if she could find any other recordings by them. She came back without them, but not empty-handed with CDs by Zacks Nkosi and the Jazz Pioneers for me.
    Perhaps if all those 78s do exist out there, I wasn't so far off the mark.If they do, why do most of the compilations largely consist of the same material from the 50s and before?

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