Sunday 13 December 2009

Assagai: Zimbabwe (1971)

This 1971 prog-rock offering by Assagai includes one of my favourite voices, Martha Mdenge. A follow-up to their self-titled debut album, "Zimbabwe" showcases some of South Africa’s best exile musicians at the time – Dudu Pukwana, Louis Moholo and the special trumpeter, Mongezi Feza. It also features some cover songs and musical back-up from Vertigo “stable-mates” Jade Warrior,

Zimbabwe was released on the Philips label, and then re-issued some years later on the MFP label with the name “Afro-Rock”.

More info on Jade Warrior and Assagai here.

From the back cover: “In recording this second album its been a pleasure once again with such rated musicians as Louis Moholo (drums) Dudu Pukwana (Alto/Piano) Mongezi Feza (Trumpet) Terri Quaye (Congas) and Bizo Mngikana (tenor).

"New members to the band are Smiley de Jonnes (congas/percussion) and Fred Fredericks (tenor/baritone) and Martha Mdenge who writes and sings some nice African folk songs.

"Thanks to fellow Vertigo artists Jade Warrior for strumming, picking, banging and blowing along, not to mention writing and arranging a few steamers.

"Recorded at Nova Sound Studios and Engineered by Richard Dodds. Produced by Dave Watson for Normal Associates. Sleeve Designed and drawn by Roger Dean."

1. Baranzibar (Havard)
2. Wanga (Mdenge)
3. La La (Mdenge)
4. Dalani (Pukwana)
5. Bayeza (Mdenge)
6. Sanga (Field)
7. Come Along (Mdenge)
8.Kinzambi (Duhig)
Philips 6308 079


  1. Great post - thanks. I bought the the complete Assagai on CD the other month from Downtown Music Gallery

    Interesting to see the cover art for Zimbabwe and the inclusion of the title African Folk Songs. How does the label list it? Did Assagai temporarily rename as Assagai Zimbabwe? (The cover art reproduced on the front of the complete Assagai doesn't show this extra title).

  2. Bought this way back in the early 70's and started my love for all things to do With Dudu P, Why did I buy it/ the cover art is an early Roger Dean...I was young then OK LOL!
    Thank you!

  3. Please artwork in HQ for better information on back cover!
    and thanks for all!!

  4. this is one of the best CD in the world, the music in it is simply amazing, in fact when you hear this music, you feel like you been in a safari, the wild side within you aweke.

  5. Thanks so much for posting this gem. Simply beautiful. I am in my room alone, yet it made me get up & dance. I had no choice! Cheers!
    Mona - I too got into great music like this & Osibisa cos of Roger Dean!

  6. This album is amazing and their eponymous first album is, perhaps, even better. Thank you guys as always for your fantastic posts!


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