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ep1str0phy

"South African Jazz"

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Irene Schweizer and Louis Moholo toured South Africa about 2 years ago.

Unfortunately Louis was bombed out and the concert was actually embarrasing,

especially for Irene.

Luckily Irene played a few solo pieces and that saved the evening.

The next day Irene gave a workshop at Cape Town university and that

was really inspiring, we all wondered what happened to Louis that day??

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"bombed out" meaning?

I imagine that he had too much to drink or something to that effect

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Ah. Thought that was what you meant. I've heard some stories too.

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was dollar brand part of the south african scene?

i recently heard the incredible 'african space program.'

gotta find a copy somewhere.

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Dollar Brand/Abdullah Ibrahim (born in Cape Town in '34) was and is a big part of the South African jazz scene, although he's registered some of his most important work abroad, often with non-South African musicians, during and after apartheid. His group the Jazz Epistles (with, among others, Kippie Moeketsi and Makaya Ntshoko) was an important early South African bop/hard bop group, and members of its roster participated in the European tour of the seminal King Kong musical (an important step toward the movement/expatriation of SA jazz in and after the 50's--Ellington picked up on Brand in Zurich). Brand has moved in and out of S Africa since (I believe he returned to birth his kid on native soil?), but the music he's crafted after the Epistles has been some of the most influential and individual South African improvisation--expanding upon and, in many ways, gravitating away from American jazz and improv--of the last half century or so.

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Brand has moved back to SA a few years ago for good as far as I know. I saw a fairly recent movie about him on tv where the crew visited him at his new home in - I assume - Cape Town. They also went along on tour, spoke with Sathima and other musicians.

Here's the IMDB entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483974/

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Brand has moved back to SA a few years ago for good as far as I know. I saw a fairly recent movie about him on tv where the crew visited him at his new home in - I assume - Cape Town. They also went along on tour, spoke with Sathima and other musicians.

Here's the IMDB entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483974/

South African jazz enthusiasts might be interested in the article below. I wil be going "home" to Cape Town this coming December for the first time since 1990. I have no doubt that I will witness an enormous change in the "Rainbow Nation" this time.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/travel/02surfacing.html

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Brand has moved back to SA a few years ago for good as far as I know. I saw a fairly recent movie about him on tv where the crew visited him at his new home in - I assume - Cape Town. They also went along on tour, spoke with Sathima and other musicians.

Here's the IMDB entry: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483974/

South African jazz enthusiasts might be interested in the article below. I wil be going "home" to Cape Town this coming December for the first time since 1990. I have no doubt that I will witness an enormous change in the "Rainbow Nation" this time.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/travel/02surfacing.html

exciting. maybe south african jazz listening junkets on the horizon?

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From the NY times article:

"They say that in Cape Town, there are 20 guitar players per square kilometer and saxophonists behind every bush," said Iain Harris, a music producer and journalist"

My reply to that is:

I wished it was so, the Cape Town jazz scene is pretty poor, I know of 1/2 doz guitar players that are pretty good, the best of them them is James Scholdfied who last year did a recording for Steeplechase. (check it out) This guy has an incredible technique.

As far as sax players, again I can think of only 1/2 doz good players.

There is a few good pianists, bass players are in great demand as there is only few of them worth anything.

Drummers?? not bad, maybe 10 of them, the best being Kevin Gibson.

There is plenty "African jazz" but after a while, it becomes boring as the use of 2 or 3 chords makes it monotonous.

You guys in NY are spoilt, the jazz tour mentioned in the NY Times would be good for tourists trying to catch the local vibe, but for great jazz you will have to look somewhere else.

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Where are you situated geographically, jazz1? I'd be interested in your take on the local scene, as a resident. Too conservative? You don't think the music is going anywhere? (Really, I'm curious).

As far as NYers being spoiled--I'm a WC man myself, and I probably won't even be able to make it out to the Vision Festival this year. There are certainly a great deal more options for East Coasters in the way of listening opportunities and "the legends", but the American scene in general--at most local levels I've experienced--can be just as alienating and frustrating to the adventurous musician/listener as anywhere in the world. I'm sort of of the mind that musicianship issues, close-mindedness, etc. are the norm for improvised music these days.

I mean, we've got a lot of young virtuosos walking around, but you'd be hard pressed to "casually" run into an individual and even more so an individual--new, old, legendary or whatever--making money or, much less, "the rounds".

Maybe the grass is always greener? We may run the risk, here, of fetishizing the scenes "elsewhere", especially because the local life can be a little frustrating. But the world is smaller than I/we might think...

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Where are you situated geographically, jazz1? I'd be interested in your take on the local scene, as a resident. Too conservative? You don't think the music is going anywhere? (Really, I'm curious).

I am in Cape Town, the jazz scene is very conservative, in fact it is like stepping back in time. The new generation of Africans are not interested in what we call jazz, yes we have a few virtuosos but again nothing new. Abdullah is still the most creative jazz musician in SA.

I think that the high point of SA jazz was in the early sixties, since then I cannot think of anything great.

Chris Mc Gregor and Abdullah were a big lost to the local scene when they left the country.

Still now and then we can witness a good gig, but these are pretty rare.

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Where are you situated geographically, jazz1? I'd be interested in your take on the local scene, as a resident. Too conservative? You don't think the music is going anywhere? (Really, I'm curious).

I am in Cape Town, the jazz scene is very conservative, in fact it is like stepping back in time. The new generation of Africans are not interested in what we call jazz, yes we have a few virtuosos but again nothing new. Abdullah is still the most creative jazz musician in SA.

I think that the high point of SA jazz was in the early sixties, since then I cannot think of anything great.

Chris Mc Gregor and Abdullah were a big lost to the local scene when they left the country.

Still now and then we can witness a good gig, but these are pretty rare.

I suppose Louis Moholo is back now! He's pretty darn creative :)

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I suppose Louis Moholo is back now! He's pretty darn creative :)

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What are people like Barney Rachabane, Robbie Jansen and Basil Coetzee doing nowadays? Are they also inactive?

MG

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Moholo is active - been discussed elsewhere (the funny rat, I think). I missed I think two opportunities to see him here in the last 6 or so months.

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Moholo is active - been discussed elsewhere (the funny rat, I think). I missed I think two opportunities to see him here in the last 6 or so months.

He's closing out this year's Vision Fest on Sunday June 24. It looks like he will be doing a short EC tour the same week w/ stops in Baltimore and Philly(tentative).

Info on the Baltimore gig

http://www.andiemusiklive.com/EvntDtl1.cfm...29&T=092024

Edited by Chalupa

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What are people like Barney Rachabane, Robbie Jansen and Basil Coetzee doing nowadays? Are they also inactive?

Robbie Jansen is still doing his thing, I did not hear from Basil nor Barney in the last few years. Winston Mankuku still plays although he is getting old.

Last time I heard him he sounded very tired.

The big tragedy is that there is no young guys taking over.

They are talented people coming out of the College of music, but there is no money

in jazz. People that go play at Swinger play for nothing.

The jazz restaurants like the Green Dolphin pay +_ 65$ for a 4 hours gig, and

because it is for tourists the music is very tame.

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So what are the young musicians playing? Mbaqanga? Reggae? Hip Hop?

MG

Smooth jazz is big, and all the stuff you mention.

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Moholo is active - been discussed elsewhere (the funny rat, I think). I missed I think two opportunities to see him here in the last 6 or so months.

He's closing out this year's Vision Fest on Sunday June 24. It looks like he will be doing a short EC tour the same week w/ stops in Baltimore and Philly(tentative).

Info on the Baltimore gig

http://www.andiemusiklive.com/EvntDtl1.cfm...29&T=092024

Thanks for this, Chalupa. I may have to try for this one, given that Vision Fest seems a little remote for me right now.

Jazz1--it was my impression that jazz in Africa is in dire straits right now--do you think it's a generational thing? Is it representational (i.e., has the music, due to whatever forces--pandering to tourists, commercial concerns--just gotten too codified and "set in its ways")? I understand that there has been some attempt to amalgamate jazz and modern dance/urban forms, but as for improvised music--the youth here has its own experimental scene, sometimes far removed from jazz, but is there anything like that over in South Africa?

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So what are the young musicians playing? Mbaqanga? Reggae? Hip Hop?

MG

Smooth jazz is big, and all the stuff you mention.

Interesting. Is this stuff being released by the multinational companies or independent labels like Gallo?

MG

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Interesting. Is this stuff being released by the multinational companies or independent labels like Gallo?

MG

Not too sure as I don't buy much of it. I'll check it out and let you know.

jazz1

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I suppose Louis Moholo is back now! He's pretty darn creative :)

If he is??? he is not active.

jazz1

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