Archive for February, 2009


This is an online find. Recorded live at the Bracknell (UK) and Willisau (Switzerland) Jazz Festivals. Zila Personnel: Dudu Pukwana (leader, alto and soprano saxophones and whistles), Pinise Saul (vocals, cabassa), Harry Beckett (trumpet and flugelhorn), Django Bates (keyboards), Eric Richards (electric bass), Paul Gamblin (guitar), Churchill Jolobe (drums), Thebe Lipere (percussion).

Pukwana, who left South Africa in 1964 played with Chris McGregor’s bands, The Blue Note (till that band split up) and Brotherhood of Breath. Later he formed his own bands, Assegai, Spear and Zila. He sadly died in 1990 before he could return to South Africa.

The song “Hug Pine (Bambalela)”–audio below–was composed by Pukwana and features fellow South African Saul, who still lives in London, on vocals.

Via Likembe (where you can hear the seven other tracks of that album)


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Nigerian media company This Day (they also had a short-lived South African daily newspaper version of the title) launched its new monthly magazine, ARISE, late last year. This is the first and latest issue for 2009.

Here (You can look inside the magazine).

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The work of the Ghanaian artist (and art professor in Nigeria) known for his cloth sculptures made from discarded garbage) is set for an exhibition at the BRIC Rotunda Gallery from March 25 and a lecture at the Brooklyn Historical Society on April 15.

Here’s some background.

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“… The income of the top 10% of the population (still predominantly white but including a growing number of middle-class blacks) is nearly 100 times that of the bottom 10%.”

The Economist on South Africa’s economic and political crises.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted with vodpod

I am catching up. Speed-blogging about lots of things and topics, especially music, I have spotted around the blogosphere the last month. Like this performance by Maalem Benaissa, a famous Algerian musician of Gnawa, a genre practiced by an ethnic minority in that country. The instrument he is playing, is the gumbri. Benaissa passed away in November 2008.

Via Freedomblues

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No, the Angolan artist (performer, videographer, musician, poet, spoken word artist, provocateur), has a new website and he has a lot to say. The site includes his manifesto (where he announces, among others, the above) as well as a series of musical (?) performances.

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I just discovered the music of the South African-born, London-based harmonica player Adam Glasser, who has just released his debut record, ‘Free at Last.” This is old school South African jazz. The tracks I liked–I bought them off iTunes–are an upbeat tune “Mjo” featuring Pinise Saul who performed with Dudu Pukwana and the two tracks “Low Six” and “African Jazz and Variety.” In the first song the poet David Serame in the first song Sophiatown, the slaughterhouses “where the Market Theater is now,” the group Low Six that came from Modderbee mine location.  Glasser gets the mood right.  In the second Serame (who performed with the Manhattans) recalls his maiden performance with the African Jazz and Variety Show (featured in the film Zonk). I’ve had them on loop for days now. The latter songs feel like oral history set to music. This is all nostalgia, but it feels good.

You can hear samples from “Low Six,” “Mjo” and the Caiphas Semenya composed “Part of a Whole” at Glasser’s Myspace page.


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