Tuesday 21 June 2011

We celebrate 150 posts with Gideon Nxumalo's Early Mart

A very special and rare treat for electricjive readers today. It represents a holy grail amongst collectors of South African jazz and is spoken of in hushed tones. The problem with these "rare as hen's teeth" records is that not enough people have heard them! The record is Gideon Nxumalo's big band tribute to the great South African drummer Early Mabuza. It is also the first jazz album recorded by Rashid Vally on his Soultown label in early 1970. Before recording jazz Vally released dance bands like the El Ricas and the High Notes. After this foray into jazz Vally's partnership with Abdullah Ibrahim led to the establishment of the As-shams/Sun label and the albums Peace, With Kippie Moeketsi, Underground in Africa and then the big breakthrough Mannenberg.

Early Mart is the last album Nxumalo made before passing away - aged 40 - on 24th December 1970. For more on Gideon "Mgibe" Nxumalo check out our earlier posting of the seminal "Jazz Fantasia" LP.

"The sound is African, modern, avant garde."
says Leslie Sehume, author of the recited poem on side 1.

The handwritten notes on the sleeve indicate that the band members could include:
Gideon Nxumalo - Piano
Johnny Selilo - Trumpet
Allen Kwela - Guitar
Kleintjie Rubushe - Trumpet
Blyth Mbityana - Trombone
Valley Ngwenya - Baritone Sax
Dennis Nene - Flute
Gordon Mfanchu - Drums
Morris Mnana - Bass
McKay Davashe - Tenor Sax



  1. What a fantastic first track ! I've never heard such an amazing poetry with music.
    Yet, I've listening to South African jazz for years and years.
    This post deserves one of my best critics ever.

    Thanks so much, Chris or Siemon !


  2. Agreed Olivier - a special album. We have Matt Temple to thank for sharing it


  4. Thank you so much for this gem!
    What a great album.

  5. Thank you so much for another fantastic post. Here's to the next 150! -MB

  6. Yes, indeed. What an album! Many thanks, and all credit as ever for helping such riches of SA culture find at least some of the recognition they deserve in the rest of the world.

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  8. Could you possibly re-upload this album, I really want to hear it. Also any chance of posting Gideon Plays in the future?

  9. I humbly second Anonymous' wish to discover "Gideon Nxumalo Plays" which seems impossible to find anywhere.Or is there any unknown-to-me re-edition avalaible ?

  10. I would love to listen to it!


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