Saturday 29 October 2016

The Jazz Clan: Dedication (1973)

 Another South African jazz rarity eventually makes an appearance. This is one of those albums where, in my searching I had found the cover, but could not find the vinyl or the music. So thank you Vusi for coming through with the audio!

Gordon Mfandu at Dorkay House. Pic by Ian Bruce Huntley
Producer Mothobi Mutloatse’s liner notes tell us that Gordon Micky Mfandu was the original leader of “The Clan”, founded as a sixteen-piece band by trombonist Reuben Boy Radise in 1970. This 1973 recording was made following the untimely murder of Mfandu outside his home in Pimville, Soweto. The last track written by Peter Segona and Dimpi Tshabalala is dedicated to Mfandu. Mfandu was also the drummer for the Soul Giants’ “I Remember Nick”, recorded in 1968. 

Segona (trumpet) and Tshabalala (piano) are responsible for penning five of the six tracks featured on this album.

From the liner notes: “According to the band, their music is no carbon copy of somebody’s. ‘We’re trying to be ourselves as much as possible’, they explained hurriedly as they did not want to be categorised as ‘just another township jazz band’ trying to emulate the Americans. 
The Jazz Clan. Pic by V. Ntuli
Here I must point out that it is the Americans who have to learn from us about African rhythms. I mean there are so many Black American groups nowadays which are claiming to be playing Afro-jazz. To my mind, the Clan can teach them a thing or two! That’s African pride for you”.

Reuben Boy Radise (leader, trombone); Peter Segona (trumpet), Dimpi Tshabalala (piano) Jeff Mpete (drums), Sipho Mabaso (tenor sax), Mongezi Velelo (bass), Corney Kumalo (barritone sax).

Recorded in May and June of 1973. Published  on 10th December 1973.
Cover photo: Mike Mzileni
Back cover photo: V. Ntuli
Engineers: Peter Thwaites and Peter Ceronia.
 Download link here

Friday 14 October 2016

Cassette Recovery - Top Shungu Hits

In the early 1980s, soon after Zimbabwe's independence and the floushing of the local music scene, it wasn't easy to get hold of vinyl from Zimbabwe. You had to know someone who was going and ask them. In these times I was fortunate to get hold of the early Thomas Mapfumo LPs as well as LPs from Devera Ngwena and Flavian Nyathi and some of the Zimbabwe Hits compilations. The tracks being shared today come from a cassette I copied from a friend at the time and was simply entitled Top Shungu Hits. It includes hit parade songs from Speed Limit, Sugar Lump, Devera Ngwena and The Storm.

 I hope you enjoy this burst of musical energy!