Friday 22 April 2011

The Morris Goldberg Quartet (1975)

This rare and unheralded recording showcases the jazz song-writing of Cape Town’s David Bravo and Morris Goldberg. As in much of his future work as a bandleader, Goldberg infuses an African, Cape Town and sometimes mbaqanga idiom into a latin and jazz-fusion melting pot.

The album has its own sense of completion, rendering songs that passionately pump and drive alongside others saturated  with contemplative beauty. I spun this record on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Durban, and the resulting mood left me in no doubt as to what I should post next on this blog.
Morris Goldberg with Chris Schilder (1966):
Photo: Ian B. Huntley

Goldberg was part of the early wave of music exiles, moving to England in 1960 and then, with the help of Hugh Masekela, settling in the United States in 1962. Since then he has backed the greats, including Masekela (Uptownship, 1989); Paul Simon (Graceland, 1985), amongst others.
Fortunately for South Africa, Goldberg keeps coming back: In 1974 he returned to record “Mannenburg” with Abdullah Ibrahim. In 1975 he recorded two albums in South Africa for two different labels. Morris Goldberg’s Urban Jazz Band was featured earlier on this blog here.

Today’s line-up is Goldberg, Cecil Ricca (drums), David Bravo (Electric Piano) and Marc Duby (bass). In 1983 Goldberg teamed up with Tony Schilder (piano), Gary Kriel (bass) Cecil Ricca on drums and Merton Barrow (vibes) to play the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town. “Jazz in Transit”, the double album of those shows is recognised as a world class offering. The album was released on CD in 2006, and again in 2009, and can be purchased here, and as an MP3 download here and here.
Morris Goldberg; Johnny Clayton (piano)
Midge Pike (bass). Cape Town City Hall
(1966) Pic: Ian B. Huntley

For reasons of space, the "Jazz In Transit" CD releases do not contain the last two tracks of the original vinyl double album: “Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child” and Chick Corea’s “Spain”. These two tracks can be downloaded as a bonus below.

Goldberg heads up a highly successful U.S.-based SafroJazz band “Ojoyo” featuring the likes of Bakithi Khumalo (bass) and Bheki Khoza (guitar). They have produced three CDs which can all be found here.
Ojoyo played the Cape Town Jazz Festival in 2005, and four Grahamstown festivals in the 1990s.

Recorded at the Manley Van Niekerk (MvN) studios in 1975.

Rapidshare here Mediafire here

Jazz in Transit (1983)
Two tracks not included in the CD re-release:
11. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child (Traditional) (The record label attributes this song to Richie Havens)
12. Spain (Chick Corea).

Rapidshare here Mediafire here


  1. Hi, first of all, congratulations for marvellous blog! Second, I think you put the wrong link to "The Morris Goldberg Quartet" in mediafire. It links to "Jazz in Transit". best regards! Carlos

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the mix-up - apologies for the inconvenience - all fixed now. Chris

  3. Hi, Good stuff that I will check out later,mobile internet in Australia is really expensive! I have added you to the blog roll at
    the home of Andy's Jazz Show and Ray the Jazz Rep,both on UK Jazz Radio.Happy to give you an online shout if you want but would understand if you don't. ;-)

  4. Thanks Andy - we are always keen to give exposure to the music we share - shout it out by all means. Chris

  5. This album is brilliant! Thank you for such a great blog.

  6. Brilliant stuff! I just think the attribution of "Motherless Child" to Richie Havens is stretching it a bit! This is a very old traditional song - from many years before Havens was born!

  7. Thanks Tony - I am learning all the time - the record label attributes it to Richie Havens -

  8. Really like the Morris Goldberg Quartet album. The David Bravo compositions are well crafted with strong focus on stating & restating the melody. Does anyone know what "Cewewal" means? Big thanks for sharing this music.

  9. Thanks for taking the time to share your appreciation gklein ... in my mind I I imagined cewewal to be a gobbledeygook childhood word construction - never heard or seen it elsewhere. Chris

  10. Thanks, Chris. I thought it might be something like that but wanted to be sure it didn't refer to some important aspect of SA culture I wasn't aware of. I may play that track on the Groove Yard (Sunday 1-3 pm Eastern US time on I'm currently exploring global jazz connections. Thanks again for all the great music on this incredible blog. George

  11. I absolutely love these guys. What a great show. It arrived on time and was in great shape. I love to watch and listen to this group. They are great.

  12. In response to George's question about , it was David's version of Cereal. There were young kids in his family who pronounced it like that, and so it became the song's title. Thanks for a great blog, and all best for 2013.

  13. Thanks mybud for the kind word and good wishes. Thanks too for confirming the origins of the song title, from what appears to be first hand experience. Look out this year for another four or five hours of previously unheard recordings of Morris and the Cape Town crew doing live gigs, mostly at the Art Centre, but also one at The Troubadour. Best wishes for a wonderful 2013

  14. Oh PLEASE reup Jazz in Transit, it is such a wonderful album!

  15. Chiquilicuatre y ZappaSaturday, January 30, 2016

    Many thanks, please re-up Jazz in Transit


Electric Jive is currently receiving a deluge of spam. Apologies for the additional word verification requirement.