A few points in response to things mentioned (& not mentioned) in the previous 11 pages of this thread:
the Magnificant wrote:
What are people like Barney Rachabane, Robbie Jansen and Basil Coetzee doing nowadays? Are they also inactive?
Given that these, and so many other, artists were able to continue their work and to use their music to fight Apartheid, I'm forced to wonder why so many SA jazzmen chose exile, rather than to stay and fight. It occurs to me that they did so because jazz is an inadequate music with which to carry on politics and that jazz musicians were, therefore, not capable of meeting the needs of their culture for politically activist music. So they moved to where the audiences weren't so fussy about what they listened to.
Basil Coetzee died ten years ago:
As far as the 'exiles' go; their purpose was to play the music, this became more and more difficult in SA. The ANC used to say that the musicians were their ambassadors, and they were. The Hundred Club in London was a regular haunt for them (and me) and the gigs were a place to promote the struggle against apartheid.
That reminds me, there was a wonderful gig in the early eighties; billed as the origonal Molombo (or something like that). Abe Cindi arrived from SA and joined Julian Bahula, Lucky Ranku and Ernest Mohle. It was a great evening though a little spoilt by Hugh Masakela who presumed he could sit in. The band handled him well, they let his ego shine for a couple of numbers and then saw him off. It was all recorded and Julian tells me that the tapes are under his bed. I'm telling you; this would be one fine release if it ever happens!
Lucky has not been mentioned on this thread, he is one fine guitarist. He lives in Manchester and plays London once or twice a year, I think his most current line up is the African All Stars. It's hard to recommend a CD where he really shines, he's too modest, I want more of his solos. The only time he really goes for it is on the McGregor 'Exiles' album and then he probably goes too long!
Philip Thabane has not been mentioned; he is fine too. If there is only one CD to buy it's the Castle Lager one. No more about this now as I'll post something on my blog in the next few days.
District Six; well that was a great gig. I think it was their first one (in London) upstairs at the Arts Theatre Club. I think it was the drummer, Brian Abrahams (still in London, I saw him last year), who put the band together. the late Russell Herman was on guitar; Mervin Afrika on piano (grapevine says he's back in Cape Town), the music professor on bass (sorry, cannot remember his name) and Dudu Pukwana on sax's. THAT NIGHT COOKED. I never saw Dudu play with them again. I maintain that he was at his best when in someone else's band.
Lastly: someone wrote: "I don't know why it takes so much longer from South Africa than Ghana. You'ld expect the reverse to be the case."
I rocon that SA is about twice as far as Ghana so it makes absolute sense to me.