Tuesday 19 May 2015

Message: Working for Nothing (1977)

A 1977 South African jazz recording involving saxophonist Aubrey Simani. I am hoping that readers can help me with more information – for example, who was “A. Nxumalo”?  Sadly, this is one of those records in my collection that does not possess the original cover. The cover picture displayed here was one of the 150 covers displayed at Alliance Francais' Vinyl September exhibition during 2016. The music more than makes up for an absence of information though.

Aubrey Simani was not lightweight. At the age of 22 he was playing alto saxophone to Mongezi Feza’s tenor as a member of Eric Nomvete’s Big Five, at the 1962 Castle Jazz Festival where they performed the ground-breaking “Pondo Blues”. Before that, Simani was a member of Tete Mbambisa’s “Four Yanks”, which also included Dudu Pukwana.

Simani joined up with Johnny Mekoa in 1967 to form the Jazz Ministers. Switching to tenor sax in the 1970s he contributed to a number of important recordings. In 1976, for example, his credits included at least four full albums: Tete Mbambisa’s Big Sound, Dick Khoza’s Chapita, Reggie Msomi’s “Soweto Grooving”, and then with the Jazz Ministers Live in Newport.

Track three (One for Erick) is most likely dedicated to Eric Nomvete. Simani was killed by a car in Mdantsane on 11 August 2009. 

Link here


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