Tuesday 29 November 2016

Usathane Usifikile!: EJ Durban Office Party 2016

Oh believers gather around and start praying, for the devil has arrived!” Joseph Kumalo is not alone in blaming the devil for ‘changes’ he is not happy with. For Kumalo, South African cities in the early 1960s were dens of iniquity corrupting the traditions and values of rural folk. Drinking, smoking marijuana, gambling, fighting were the work of the devil.

We have all encountered a few “devils” of our own this year, and I thought it a good time to dig through my ‘new finds’ for a year-end Office Party shake-out. Welcome to a bumper edition of the Electric Jive 2016 Durban Office Party. Sadly, unexpected changes to my work-travel commitments prevent me from actually spinning these discs, as planned, at the Electric Jive Office Party at Khaya Records on Friday 9th December. A party of one sort or another is still happening though. "Familiar Favourite" (Mxolisi Makubho) and Hotdog Fingarz of Fly Machine Sessions are keeping their part of the bargain and will be coming through from Johannesburg with some great tunes on vinyl. Make a note: Khaya Records, Durban – Friday evening 9th December. I will leave a gift for the first thirty or so people who make it through the door. Thanks to Vusi of The Fly Machine Sessions for the graphic at the top of this post!

So, herewith two hours of what I would have played, if I could have. First up is a one-hour trip that sets off from the countryside with guitar and vocal commentary from the late 1950s, early 60s, building up via violin jive through Zulu blues, to early rock and roll. Victor Ndlazilwana (later of Jazz Ministers fame) is credited with writing and playing on “Please do it oh Baby”, a song that would not have been out of place on an Elvis album from that time.

The merriment builds, morphing from rock-influenced marabi jive through to big-band ska from the likes of Orlando Jazz Combo. Have a listen to Chris McGregor and the Blue Notes playing Dudu Pukwana’s “Ndiyeke Mra” and check out the strong ska influence! Likewise, Africa’s Hot Ten (including Kippie Moeketsi and other jazz luminaries) showcase the deep well of great talent and technical dedication from the time.

The mix changes direction, revisiting some great brass-driven marabi jive tracks from the likes of “The New Havana Orchestra, The Shakers, and the The Kwa Mashu Swingsters”. We warm down with the sweet vocals of the “Dark City Sisters” and end as we began, artists referencing “Inhliziyo Yam” (my disposition, or mood). Whereas Job Ndlangalala starts this set with a hauntingly beautiful  guitar track telling of the circumstances that were ‘killing’ his mood, The Shakers end-off with an upbeat simple finale.

So – if you feel the need to cleanse, purge, indulge, exorcise, dance, this mix can help. The 78rpm recordings are being shared as a single mix-tape. Sorry, no separated tracks on this one.

I wish all visitors to Electric Jive happy holidays, and a much, much better 2017!

1.     The Play Singer: Hambabamfana. (Job Ndlangalala) Columbia YE208.
2.     The Play Singer: U Ngi Cebe E Poisen. (Job Ndlangalala) Columbia YE129.
3.     Joseph Khumalo: Usathani Sefikile. (Joseph Khumalo) Quality TJ.855.
4.     Nongomo Trio: Zulu Violin Special. (Nongomo Trio) Columbia YE.333.
5.     Gumede's Happy Violin: Thatha Jou (J. Gumede) Gallotone Jive GB.3212.
6.     Stanley Caluza: Sengimtholile. (Stanley Caluza) Columbia YE392.
7.     Daisy Newman: Abafana. (Daisy Newman) Winner OK.051.
8.     Cooper & The Black Be-Bop Sisters: Ebusuku Nemini (Theodora Ngcongo) Winner OK.114.
9.     Merebank Youngsters: Ngiyazisola (Merebank Youngsters) Columbia YE.85.
10.  The Bogard Brothers: Che Boogie Here. (L. Motau) His Master's Voice JP.750.
11.  Big Rock Chaka: Please Do It Oh Baby (Victor Ndlazilwana). Tropik DC.751.
12.  Almon's Jazz Kings: Uyidoda (Almon Memela) Gallo USA USA280.
13.  Orlando Jazz Combo: Imbasha (Percy Gumbi) Gallo USA USA304.
14.  Chris McGregor & His Blue Notes: Ndiyeke Mra (Dudu Phukwana) Winner OK.125.
15.  Africa's Hot Ten: Club 600 (E. Williams) Winner OK.001.
16.  Christopher and his Home Swingsters: T. Time Ska (Chris Songxaka) Gallo New Sound GB3581.
17.  Sofasonke Swingsters: Umlahla (Edmund Piliso) His Master's Voice JP.857.
18.  Cooper & The Black Be-Bop Sisters: Vat en Sit (Gloria Malete) Winner OK.114.
19.  Zee Zee Jazz Appointment: Jazz Palace (Rupert Bopape) His Master's Voice JP.741.
20.  The New Havana Orchestra: City Phata (Ngubane) Troubadour AFC.605.
21.  The Shakers: Shake Shake No. 1 (Busi) Troubadour AFC.643
22.  Kwa Mashu Swingsters: Siyanda (Roland Mqwebu) RCA.250.
23.  The City Dazzlers: Ngenye Mini (The City Dazzlers) HIT.120.
24.  The Dark City Sisters: Tap Tap Ntshebe (Zeph Nkabinde, Michael Xaba, Rupert Bopape, Elijah Nkwanyane) His Master's Voice JP.700.
25.  The Shakers: Intlyizo Yam.(Busi) Troubadour AFC.643.

The second one-hour set is drawn from 45rpm, most of which found their way to my drawers this year. Seventies South African soul, funk, pop, jazz and then some mbaqanga to round it all off.

1. The V.I.P.sMaxie's Mood. (M. Kubekha, I. Twala). Love Love LVB220.
2. The Anchors: Friends In Soul. (The Anchors). CYB69. (1969).
3. The Inn Lawes: Peter and Zacks Special (Peter Morake, Zacks Kgasapane) CBS AB 326.
4. S. Piliso & His Super Seven: Papa Was A Rolling Stone (Whitfield and Strong) FGB625 (1973).
5. Cool Cats: Wilderness (Gilbert Matthews, G. Sabela) Soweto SWB 4 (1973).
6.  The Special Sounds:  Mngani (Rupert Bopape and Shadrach Piliso) Soul Jazz Pop SOJ 2 (1974),
7. Cool Cats:  See You Later (P. Nkosi, B. Kgasoane) Soweto SWB 4 (1973).
8. The Black Pages: There Goes (N. Makua, E. Kheswa, G. Molefi). Soul Jazz Pop SOJ 140 (1977).
9. S. Piliso & His Super Seven: Umgababa (Edmund Piliso & Themba Dlamini) FGB625 (1973).
10. Bops and Son: Chicken Soul (D. Mchunu) MJW Records MJW.107 (1976).
11. Inthuthuko Brothers: Soweto Disco (S. Jibiliza)Black Cherry BCS110 1978.
12. Shumi: Gideon, Early & McKay (Holler/Arr: Masingi) BUA8803 (1974).
13. Jazz Disciples: Tete’s Jump (Tete Mbambisa) HMV JP887 (1967).
14. Rift Valley Brothers: Mutirima Waka (Lawrence Nduku) Mercury MER11.
15. Abafana Bentuthuko: Double Line (Hansford Mthembu) AB666.
16. John Mkhabela and the Fire Wizards: Umdidyelo (J Nhlapo) GGB456 (1971).
17. The Play Boys:  Cross Road (D. Mokoka - M. Maliehe) JP1338 (1973).
18. Izintombi Zomoya: Oseke Walla (Rupert Bopape and Irene Mawela) Motella MO 522 (1974).
19. Abafana Besi Manje Manje: Bathini Nzimande (Hamilton Nzimande) HVN NZ.68 (1974).
20. Johanes Lenkoe with the Suger Suger Boys: NU 3 (Johannes Lenkoe) Six Mabone SMB 728 (1975).
21. Makhona Zonke Band: Durban Road. (
22. The Creations:  Wild Man in the City (Manu Dibango) PD 1270 (1976).

Download links:
78rpm mix-tape 
45rpm mix-tape 
45rpm separated tracks 


  1. The Office Party! My favorite time of year!

  2. Having my Christmas Party on a Sunday morning and seriously rocking out on the 78rpm party. My world could use more joy, so thanks very much from the US!

  3. Thanks so much for your obvious joy in the music and for the sharing! And an extra special thanks for going to the schlep of separating out the second set of tracks .... wishing you and fellow Jivers an enthusuasic party season and some good things in all the murk!

  4. Thanks for the good work on this blog.

  5. Lekker, I was hoping there'd be a holiday mixtape. And you haven't disappointed! Thanks!

  6. Thanks good people for your kind comments - Greg, great to hear from you! It really is a pleasure.

  7. This is awesome! Any chance for the separate tracks for the 78 mix?

  8. This is awesome!! Any chance for the separate tracks of the 78rpm?

  9. A wonderful start of the new year. Bless you all guys!

  10. Thank you ever so much for this philanthropic blog.

    I follow from some years now and I don´t know how to express my gratitude.


  11. I can't find pictures of any of these 78's anywhere online! I wish I could.

  12. Hi guys,life is boring without EJ. I hope this is not the end of one of the best blogs ever. Anyway thanks for all the fantastic music and in depth information.hope to see some new posts in the near future. Rik

  13. I was so busy listening to all the records collected on Electric Jive in recent years (in particular the Huntley archive) that I did not even realize that you had not given a sign of life since the end of last year. I hope you all go well and, again, thanks you for the work done all these years. Cheers !

    1. Thanks Steph. We will try and keep this archive up and running for as long as possible - and perhaps, occasionally, add something when time and enthusiasm enables

    2. Before introduction to EJ, my life was as normal as could be. Now, having basked in the blog's avalanche of music exotics that has now come to an abrupt cul-de-sac, it feels like a whole leg has been amputated and one must limp through life with a crutch. All thanks to greedy scoundrels who would stop at nothing to abuse and misuse any platform for their own selfish ends.
      A ton of thanks to the architects of EJ for the pleasure they lavishly spread about through their labour of love.
      You never miss your water until your well runs dry!

    3. It's a good blog. It has been a platform of and for joy. One wonders what could have gone wrong to dry up the well.

  14. Hello all!

    After a four-year hiatus, I have revitalized my blog, Likembe. Please drop by!


  15. What a pleasure for my ears and my soul! Merci, Fred Spider

  16. Could turning it into a platform for commercial downloads of African music help unwind whatever transpired to leave things where they are since end of 2016?

    1. Hi Pascal - money was never a motivation, nor a reason for it stopping. It was voluntary and the contributors no longer felt the enthusiasm.

    2. Just thought Manzo was spilling something about this on 24/05/2017 where they say "All thanks to greedy scoundrels who would stop at nothing to abuse and misuse any platform for their own selfish ends." 'hoping that the interest and enthusiasm of the contributors and administrators of the site can somehow be re-ignited soon.

  17. Can someone somewhere find me the song "Dzepfunde" by Zexie Manatsa and The Green Arrows; produced by West Nkosi for Gallo Records' Mavuthela in 1980; "Farayi Farai" label, No. FYF 403; +any other rarities from the outfit. The musical group itself was from Zimbabwe. And, song "Mthanethu" by Mahotella Queens from the early 1970's.


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