Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Heartbreaker: The G. Kente Voices (1977)

OK, so there is an appetite for Gibson Kente's music, thanks for the comments and feedback. Here is another Gibson Kente production, recorded 29th August 1977, ten weeks after "Can You Take It". The eight-piece band remains intact, while the vocal ensemble is reduced to eight female voices, led again by Olive Masinga. Produced by Ray Nkwe on the Jazz Appreciation Society (JAS) Pride label.

A notable addition among the voices is that of a young Mandisa Dlanga who went on to make a name for herself in the theatre world, as a session singer, and has since 1986 been the longest serving band member in Johnny Clegg's regular line-up. Mandisa Dlanga is still performing live, and has recent recordings with the Soweto Gospel Choir, and also on Vusi Mahlasela's 2011 "Say Africa". You can check out and purchase CDs on which Ms Dlanga is featured here.

Kente (1932 – 2004) is remembered as the father of South Africa’s Black Theatre. In the 1950s he was a talent scout for the Gallo music company. Inspired by King Kong, he founded a theater business in the early 1960s His first play was Manana, the Jazz Prophet (1963). The second, Sikalo  is featured earlier on Electric Jive here. I have made a note to digitise and share Kente's 1973 offering "How Long" sometime in the future, stay tuned.

Kente is credited with training more than 400 artists and producing 30 plays and three television dramas before his death from Aids in 2004.

Download link here


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