sidebar link on this site. Direct purchases include a free download in digital format of your choice. Shipping starts this week! Copies should filter through to your favourite independent record store via Honest Jons. The CD version that includes two tracks from their second album Moving Along is still available to order via Nature Bliss. A limited dispatch will also wind their way to South Africa to be stocked at Record Mad in Johannesburg and I hope at Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
As we mark Sathima’s birthday today I’m still trying to make sense of it all. Her long struggle to be heard, never playing on her African roots and resolutely uncommercial with a complete commitment to classic jazz idioms. And a big shadow cast by her partner Abdullah Ibrahim, the challenges of motherhood exacerbated by exile and an uneasy homecoming from the Chelsea Hotel in New York where she said she felt most at home.
Sathima had the unique ability to strike first at your heart, not unlike the experience of hearing Billie Holiday for the first time. She cites hearing Billie’s performance in Lady Sings the Blues as being pivotal to her development as a singer. And Sathima’s original compositions like Africa and Nations in Me eschew the commonly prescribed categories of race and nationhood propagated by Apartheid. It’s a powerful combination.
Her final performance at Tagore’s was highly anticipated and packed shoulder-to-shoulder. Some initial microphone issues before Sathima took to the stage, backed by the Hilton Schilder Trio, to perform one more time her classic songbook tunes, laments and the anthem Africa. “I’ve been gone much too long/and I’m glad to say that I’m home, I’m home to stay…” I was so happy for her despite the knowledge that perhaps this might all be too late. We spoke late into the evening at the Labia Cinema on Sunday and at the Mahogany Room on Tuesday about taking this forward.
Too late, and now she’s on the other side. And that’s our lament: that home is still the other side.
Photo Credit: Gregory Franz.
First published at Africa is a Country
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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Coming soon! "Keeping Time: 1964-1974 The Photographs and Cape Town Jazz Recordings of Ian Bruce Huntley"
This book celebrates the public emergence of an extraordinary visual and audio archive that was initiated by Ian Bruce Huntley in Cape Town fifty years ago. Electric Jive is very happy to announce that a limited edition print run of 500 copies is now at the printers. The book is expected to be available towards the end of November.
Covering the period 1964 - 1974, the Ian Bruce Huntley archive opens a window to a little known era of South African music history, documenting an ‘underground’ jazz scene that persisted in creative defiance of all that grand apartheid threw at it. In addition to 120 historical images, 56 hours of live recordings from many of the photographed performances are indexed in this book and will become available for free download through Electric Jive.
This previously hidden archive documents accomplished South African jazz musicians pushing the creative envelope and entertaining appreciative audiences. In his accompanying essay Jonathan Eato argues that Ian Bruce Huntley’s photos and recordings document an extension of the Drum decade lineage right through to the 1970s.
Many of the musicians Huntley worked with have passed on, and a large number were never afforded the opportunity to record (whilst others remain woefully under-documented). Combined with the loss to exile of yet more key people in the history of jazz in South Africa and the general inaccessibility of records that do exist, this conflation of events and circumstances has left a big dent in our historical understanding and resources. For those students, musicians, scholars, and devotees of South African music who wish to engage with the achievements of a generation of South African jazz musicians the newly found accessibility of the Ian Huntley archive goes a small but invaluable way towards maintaining memory and articulating lost stories
Published by Chris Albertyn and Associates in partnership with Electric Jive, the book is edited by Chris Albertyn. In addition to a biographical sketch of Ian Huntley, the book offers a substantial essay by Jonathan Eato, a full discography of all the recordings, and an index. Electric Jive's Siemon Allen is responsible for the design and layout, while Cedric Nunn has painstakingly spent many many hours restoring the professionally scanned digitized images. More details will be made available in the coming months.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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Saturday, August 10, 2013
One more time! The DJ set I played at Future Nostalgia to celebrate Sathima Bea Benjamin's African Songbird reissue.
Rapidshare / Mixcloud
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Monday, August 05, 2013
|Sathima at Tagores|
Pure emotion is how Sathima Bea Benjamin is often described. In Cape Town at the launch events for the African Songbird album this was reinforced over and over again. On the first night – despite having a cold – Sathima took charge of Tagores and led us on a special journey to her heart. Thanks to the good folks at Chimurenga I am very happy to share with you an audio recording of that performance.
|Sathima at the Labia|
Come Sunday night we were not sure if she was going to make it to the Sathima’s Windsong screening. But again we were not disappointed with her presence and patience answering questions and signing albums into the night. At the final Vinyl Session at Mahogany’s on Tuesday night Sathima was once again with us until midnight.
A heartfelt thanks to all those that made the launch events a big success and a very special thanks to Sathima whose songs and presence continue to make all richer. (Special thanks to Greg Franz for the photographs)
Sathima Live at Tagores: Rapidshare here / Zippyshare here
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Monday, June 24, 2013
Here we go....to the Mother City for the South African launch of Sathima Bea Benjamin's African Songbird.I hope to see you there! An events page is on Facebook here: SATHIMA CAPE TOWN
And to celebrate I am proud to bring you a mixtape of classics from Rashid Vally's As-shams label.
|Rashid Vally with Gallo engineer Peter Ceronio during one of the many sessions for the As-shams (Sun) label|
UNDERGROUND IN AFRICA - Deep spiritual jazz produced under the heat of Apartheid by As-shams label owner Rashid Vally
1. All Day and All Night Long - Abdullah Ibrahim
2. Mannenberg Is Where It's Happening (Cape Town Fringe) - Abdullah Ibrahim
3. Tshona - Pat Matshikiza And Kippie Moketsi
4. Africa - Sathima Bea Benjamin
5. African Herbs - Abdullah Ibrahim
6. Unity - Tete Mbambisa
7. WD 46 Mendi Road - Dick Khoza
8. Harari - The Beaters
9. Lament - Movement in the City
10. Deeper in Black - Lionel Pillay
11. Cherry - Basil Coetzee and Lionel Pillay
12. Night express - Black Disco
13. Spiritual Feel Riding the Blue - Black Disco
14. Past time - Tete Mbambisa, Basil Coetzee, Zulu Bidi & Monty Webber
15. Shrimp boats - Basil Coetzee
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
"Reissue of the year so far?? Pure fire. Astounding music...." - Chris Menist
"A pure masterpiece" - Guillaume Heintzmann, Alter K
"Beautiful reissue of killer spiritual South African Jazz LP" - Superfly Records
"Beautiful deep vocal jazz side feat Dollar Brand lavishly and lovingly reissued by the sainted Matsuli label." - Kristina Records
"Beautiful reissue of killer spiritual South African Jazz LP" - Superfly Records
"Beautiful deep vocal jazz side feat Dollar Brand lavishly and lovingly reissued by the sainted Matsuli label." - Kristina Records
"One of the coolest albums ever from vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin" - Dusty Groove
"The opener is a first-round knockout: moody and hurting, soaring and visionary, with Dollar Brand threading electric keys through the free-fall, doubled-up, deep-funk drums and bass. Then some delicate Cape Town swing, featuring Basil 'Manenberg' Coetzee on flute; and finally Sathima herself, alone at land's end, like a bird. Originally released in 1976 on Rashid Vally's As-shams label this is a profound, ravishing, spiritual-jazz masterpiece from South Africa - a long overdue revive, prefectly realized" - Honest Jons
"The Sathima Bea Benjamin 'African Songbird' reissue on Matsuli Music is deep & moody spiritual jazz at its finest." - Tumbleweed blog
Finally the day has come after more than five years in preparation for me to announce that African Songbird is now available to purchase for the first time in more than 37 years.....thanks to all that made the London launch party and I look forward to the Cape Town launch in early July. The fight against forgetting continues...
180gsm deluxe gatefold vinyl edition with download code (limited to 1000 hand numbered copies). Compact disc six panel digipac edition (limited to 500 copies)
....contact Honest Jons who will be stocking independent stores worldwide
Digital downloads in multiple formats (MP3, FLAC, OGG, ORBIS, AAC) from Matsuli Music direct as well as via the big stores (Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Matsuli Music is proud is announce the re-issue of African Songbird, the spiritual jazz masterpiece from South Africa’s greatest jazz singer, Sathima Bea Benjamin. Originally released in 1976, African Songbird was a debut long overdue. A 1959 recording, which would have been one of South Africa’s first ever jazz LPs, was shelved. Her 1963 recording with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn was put aside by Reprise’s then head of A&R, Frank Sinatra, for not being commercial enough.
African Songbird is a tour-de-force, and arguably the most dramatic and powerful release on Rashid Vally’s As-shams label. The opener, ‘Africa’, is the album’s fulcrum, a statement of breath-taking musical, personal and political complexity. It is a song of exile, of loss, and of return: a song that is both personal and universal, speaking for a people made homeless in their own land, speaking to those whose ambivalent embrace of exile ached for a homecoming. It speaks too of hope and resolution.
Africa is a personally powerful declaration from a remarkable African woman: a song of deferred self and dislocated space finally resolved in an emotional homecoming. It is a song of celebration and mourning – a heartfelt paean to her home that is shot through with the raw sorrow of lament.
Sathima’s voice, wholly unique in jazz singing, gradually sheds its musical supports as the programme develops. From the thickly-layered tumult of Africa, through the characteristic Cape Town swing that informs Music, the instrumentation is quietly reduced, then finally dispensed with. The title track is performed acapella, but for the natural sounds of the sea coast, the gulls and surf of the Cape itself. After many years of silence, two deferred albums, and over a decade of rootless exile from a home that had been made inhospitable by the inhumanity of apartheid, Sathima’s voice is finally heard, alone with her song, naturally, like a bird.
Sathima’s career has been challenged throughout by a struggle to be heard. Her repertoire was resolutely uncommercial. She never played on her African roots to gain acceptance internationally, and her complete commitment to classic jazz idioms never wavered: as an African artist, this made it difficult for audiences, critics and record companies to understand the nature of her talent. The unique genius and global success of her husband Abdullah Ibrahim (previously known as Dollar Brand) cast its own shadow, and as the mother of two children, music could not always be her first priority. These challenges were exacerbated by the pressures of political exile, and for Sathima, due recognition was late to arrive.
In recent years Sathima Bea Benjamin’s extraordinary life and unique work have received the critical attention and acclaim they richly deserve. Despite this, African Songbird, her first released record, has remained unavailable and largely unknown. This reissue remedies that situation in restoring and making available again an important keystone in South Africa’s jazz heritage.
Sathima Bea Benjamin currently lives in Cape Town. She continues to perform the material that she first recorded for this disc. In association with Rashid Vally and Sathima Bea Benjamin, Matsuli is proud to present this album in its original form, making it available again for the first time since initial release. A crucial piece of South African and global jazz history, African Songbird is courageous, revelatory music, and Sathima’s unique voice is the bearer of its message. It’s easy to see why Ellington was convinced.
Press kit (with images):
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Join us to celebrate the reissue of a lost South African jazz masterpiece – Sathima Bea Benjamin’s African Songbird – by Matsuli Music. Featuring live afro-jazz performances from Eugene Skeef and Adam Glasser together with eclectic sounds from Matsuli friends Sean Roe and Johnny Bee. Chased down with some vinyl classics from label boss Matt Temple.
Venue: Muxima Café, 111-121 Fairfield Road, Bow, London, E3 2QF
Time: 9pm – late
Eugene Skeef FRSA is a South African percussionist, composer, poet, educationalist and animator living in London since 1980. Eugene’s roots are firmly established in his cultural work with Steve Biko, the late South African civil rights leader. As a young activist he co-led a nation-wide literacy campaign teaching in schools, colleges and communities across apartheid South Africa.
Adam Glasser is an award-winning Jazz harmonica and keyboard player who grew up in South Africa and is currently London-based. Adam has played with a wide variety of artists including the Manhattan Brothers and Dudu Pukwana. Adam won the 2010 SAMA Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His current album Mzansi has been nominated Best Jazz Album at the 2012 SAMA Awards.
Sseeaann Rrooee is a multimedia artist and musician who has exhibited and performed in the UK, Europe and Japan. Sseeann performs with records on stylus free turntables using amplified paper to carry the sound from the grooves of the record to the speakers, creating an intimate and improvised sound collage.
Johnny Bee’s guitar songs trace love, death and desire in a line from the tops of Manhattans towers to the swamps of Louisiana via the byways of North London.
Matt Temple runs the Matsuli Music record label, dedicated to reissuing lost South African jazz recordings. Matt has been promoting indigenous afro jazz sounds since the early 1980s, producing concerts for, amongst others, Amampondo, Malombo Jazz, Steve Dyer, OLM, Thomas Mapfumo and Sipho Mabuse.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
On 1 June 2013 Matsuli Music will reissue Sathima Bea Benjamin's 1976 spiritual jazz masterpiece African Songbird. This promotional teaser contains footage from the incredible documentary Sathima's Windsong, directed by Dan Yon, check: South Atlantic Productions for more details.
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Saturday, March 23, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
|Bea Benjamin at the Space Theatre, Long Street, Cape Town in 1974 (Photograph copyright Ian Bruce Huntley)|
I am very happy to announce that production has started on Sathima Bea Benjamin's 1976 masterpiece African Songbird. The original stereo masters (the 1976 edition on As-shams/The Sun were mixed down to Mono) are in audio restoration, the artwork for the cover has been restored and liner notes for the reissue are being finalised. Anticipated release date will be 1 June with a limited vinyl and compact disc editions as well as WAV/FLAC/MP3 options.
A small number of pre-orders will be accepted directly from this site and global distribution will follow to independent record stores worldwide. Details to follow.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
|Posing for Malick Sidibe, whose photographs formed part of the recent|
"Everything Was Moving" exhibition at the Barbican in London.
Welcome to the first of my rewind lists, looking back at an incredibly fruitful year of re-issues and the successes of the small(er) labels dedicated to bringing back lost gems and new perspectives into commercial circulation.More than ten years ago the Strut records - encouraged by the success of the first proper African reissue compilation (Nigeria 70) - embarked upon an ambitious programme of reissuing full length artist albums by the likes of Peter King, Tony Allen, Orlando Julius, BLO, Segun Bucknor and others. But unfortunately Strut got bogged down in a financial dispute with Grandmaster Flash and almost didn"t recover. In 2012 it's now clearly an idea whose time has come - witness the almost overwhelming volume of tropical re-issues from Soundway, Strut, Analogue Africa, Mr Bongo, SoulJazz, Mississippi, Secret Stash, Now Again/Stones Throw, Teranga Beat, Kindred Spirits, Honest Jons, Superfly and Sofrito. Whilst the focus is on individual artists and seminal lost albums, compilations and retrospectives still feature strong. Today's rewind pays respect to these labels and identifies what have been for me the most significant reissues of 2012:Hopeton Lewis: Take It Easy Drum and Bass records in Tokyo have have been lovingly reissuing ska and rocksteady 45s in what is best described as a facsimile mode. Exacting production standards mean a premium priced product. If you have to buy one rock-steady album just make sure it's this one!
CK Mann & His Carousel 7: Funky Highlife An original of this LP will set you back anything from $80-$400 depending on condition. Thanks to Mr Bongo's new foray into original African recordings we now have a fresh re-issue with improved audio and an extended playlist (CD). Always in demand in for titletrack that has been sampled, reversioner and edited to death.
Orlandivo The stand out track on this 1977 album from this Brazilian sambista is Onde Anda meu Amor, which Gilles Peterson compiled on one of his early Brazilian compilations. Kindred Spirits out of the Netherlands provide a "facsimile" reissue with 180g vinyl.
Diablos Del Ritmo - The Colombian Melting Pot 1960 - 1985 Another knock-out and labour of love from Samy Redjeb of Analog Africa, collecting Columbia dance variants. Detailed notes and attention to design and setting the bar very high when it comes to compilations. You can be sure that Samy is out there in another location collecting more 45s to theme a new compilation in time for Spring next year.
Tunji Oyelana - Restrospective A lovely retrospective taking in early material with Tunji's group The Benders and other tracks (including one that includes members of the South African Jazz group The Blues Notes). It's definitely a grower.
Royal Band de Thies Newly uncovered mastertapes from the dawn of mbalax. Anyone who has been stopped in their tracks by the sound of a young Youssour Ndour, or by the Star Band will be knocked out. Favourites of the time - Yaye Boye and Cherie Coco - appear alongside other latin tinged mbalax. Remarkable stuff.
Mahmoud Ahmed and the Ibex Band - Almaz Kings of the obscure Mississippi continue their foray into Africa with more Ethiopian classics. Here they reproduce Ahmed's first LP with the Ibex band. These recordings were first reissued on CD by Buda Musique as part of the Ethiopiques series.
Super Biton National de Segou Kindred Spirits once more keep the good tidings of Malian classics coming. Recorded at Radio Mali under the supervision of Boubacar Traore this is Malian big orchestra blues at its best.
Alfonso Lovo Numbero, who have made a name for themselves with their impressive Eclectic Soul series and over the top box sets, reach and and drop a Nicaraguan psycho-soul and jazz fusion album. Recovered from a single acetate this is another of those "what might have been" moments.
Tim Maia - World Psychedelic Classics Nobody Can Live Forever I was so please to discover that Luaka Bop were compiling Tim Maia for their ongoing series that has previously taken in Os Mutantes, Shuggie Otis and African Funk. You're a lucky person if you can find his early Brazilian LPs and so in the meantime this will just have to do.
Moreno and L'Orchestre First Moja One - Sister Pili +2 East African rumba from Moreno Batamba who played with Samba Mapangala in the early 80s. Timeless joyful dance music.
And that's just a sampling of the cream of the crop. What a good years it's been. There's a mix of tracks from these albums on sound cloud so take a listen.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
So nice I did it twice. Double concentrated this time with even more tropical sounds that have been clashing around in my head. Beware this has a severe storm warning attached. So batton down the hatches, get comfortable and make sure there is nothing stopping you from the urge to loosen up and get down!
2012 Matsulidelic Tropical Serenades Vol 2
01 Pégale a La Nalga - Fuentes All Stars
02 Kiboloso - Dr Nico
03 Liberté - Orchestre de la BCB
04 Aziza - Josky Kiambukuta
05 What's Wrong With You -The Bleechers
06 Wollou - Guelewar
07 Muasi Oweli Bela - Vicky et l'O.K. Jazz
08 Amartes - Pablito et l'Orchestre African Fiesta
09 Dem Niare - Kante Manfila
10 UNFM - Orchestre Le Bida de la Capital
11 Election - Orchestre Règionale De Sègou
12 Tinkisso - Sory Kandia Kouyaté
13 Maria Mama Na Mulanba - Orchestre African Jazz
14 Rendez-vous à l'étoile - Orchestre Black Santiago with Joachim Boya
15 No Seas Boba - Chihuahua
16 There's A Fire - Larry Marshall
17 Dr Jekyll - Lloyd Charmers
18 Rock it down - Owen Gray and the Collins Band
19 Nomvula Special - Umtata Boys
20 Hal Hal - Nazan Soray
21 Tsugaru Hanagasa - Takeshi Terauchi
22 Obsession '77 - Atomic Forest
23 Il Ny a Pas de Crocodiles a Cocody - Francis Bebey
24 Tema Pro Gaguinho - Dom Salvador Trio
25 Tisha's Place/One Morning Song - E.W.Wainwright Jr
26 Marhaban Ahlan - Mohammed Ben Mohammed Bo-Soweid
27 Ngogibela Ibasi - Gumede and His Concertina
Download: MF / RS
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Friday, October 19, 2012
Time to sit back, relax and enjoy some tropical sounds that have been rocking the Matsuli HiFi over the past few months! Thanks to the bloggers and reissue labels making this wealth of music available once more.
Matsulidelic Tropical Serenades Vol 1
01. Lè ou ni l'agent épi belles femmes - Les Mains Noires
02. Acobrecou - Ahouanou Jazz
03. Yokolo Pts 1 & 2 - Orchestre African Fiesta
04. Veza Mvelase - Abafana Be Mvunge
05. Phansi Kwaleyo Ntaba - Dixie Kwankwa
06. Swahili - Andre Tanker
07. Claude - Franco et l'O.K. Jazz
08. Nsu Na Kwan - Ebo Taylor
09. Adesua - Sonny Okosuns
10. Bigger Bredda - Lennie Hibbert
11. Tomorrow - Lee Jung Hyun
12. Yumbeye - Le Xalam
13. Calypso Rock - Original Tropicana Steel Band
14. A Non Yi Go - Migan Celestin
15. Pelican Fantasy - Ensemble of Rhythm and Art
16. 3 Reyes De La Terapia - Ondatrópica
17. Lie Lie - KonKoma
18. Thatha Thatha - Prince Paul Morgan
19. Tuson - Rochereau
20. Bninhounnin - Le Super Borgou De Parakou
21. Letter from Miami - Mighty Sparrow & Sparrow's Calypso Troubadours
22. Tshokwe - Mukosso
23. Viento Norte - Domingo Cura
24. Libala Ya Mungwa - Staff Benda Bilili
25. Nous deux - Orchestre Black Dragons de Porto-Novo
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I am very happy to announce that the third release on Matsuli Music will be a deluxe limited edition vinyl reissue of the long forgotten and never-before-reissued 1976 classic African Songbird by Sathima Bea Benjamin. A big shout out to Seton for getting Sathima on-board and to Rashid for finally agreeing to license the masters. As soon as further details are available these will be posted here. Stay tuned!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Button down the hatches and secure any loose items. The next instalment from Analog Africa is imminent. I managed to convince Samy to chat to me about Analog Africa and the new record - The Bariba Sound from Le Super Borgou de Parakou - which is released next week. We rambled on for about an hour over a Skype connection linking London to Frankfurt and we managed to cover most of the bases including:
... The early compilations -- Moonlighting for the airlines -- Are the people ready for more of the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band? -- Track 6: Sembe Sembe Boudou -- Bumping into records by Super Borgou -- Gunter meets Samy and helps out -- Design, artefacts, legacy and rescuing records for the future -- Track 2: Wedne Nda M'Banza -- Business, competition and formats --Samy's desert island discs -- Track 4 : Abakpe -- All eyes on Angola for 2012 -- Track 15: Adiza Claire
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Monday, March 05, 2012
Take a trip with me and others at the debut of JunKroom London at the Servant Jazz Quarters Dalston! For full details check the listing here. I'll be playing strictly vinyl 45s from Little Richard to Ersen, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ofo and the Black Company to beyond.
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Friday, February 17, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
As if to reclaim ownership from the hi-brow Barbican audience opening act Baloji marked his ground with the cry: "This is not world music, this is our music!" With just 45 minutes to rouse the seated audience Baloji managed against the odds to deliver small band renditions of key tracks from his Kinshasa Succusale album of last year. But much of his thunder was stolen by one-time Franco guitarist Dizzy Mandjeku, particularly on modern reworking of Grand Kalle's Independence Cha Cha Cha and on the closing number where the hints towards some classic rumba congolaise had most of us up and swinging.
By contrast Orchestra Baobab had nothing to prove. From the opening strains of anchor-man Barthelemy Attisso's guitar to the comic antics of Issa Cissoko on saxophone we were treated to 100 minutes of non-stop afro-cuban classics from the back-catalogue. For me the slower numbers, especially Ultra Horas (Pirates Chpice) and Dee Moo Woor (Specialist in All Styles), stood out. Even the evident casualness of the band's approach did not detract from their wizardry in performing songs that have gotten under my skin since the very first time Charlie Gillet introduced me to them some time late in the 1980s.
Rare footage of the Baobab Club with Thione Seck leading a lineup of Baobab with the classic Bamba
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Saturday, January 07, 2012
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Now there's a problem right there - too much music! And so the inevitable marking of a year past with lists everywhere. Cultural criticism in the twitterage. I do enjoy reading them to find stuff I haven't yet discovered. I've been buying The Wire every December since 1987 for exactly the same reason but now its been pushed even further off-grid so a popular slant on things is always welcome. Having a teenager around also makes a big difference to what gets played in a small apartment!
In the maelstrom of media and information overload the following albums were played more than any of the others:
- Back to Black Amy Winehouse
- 21 Adele
- Anna Calvi
- African Skies Kelan Phil Cohran and Legacy
- Let England Shake PJ Harvey
- Life Stories Ebo Taylor
- The Phantom Duke Pearson
- Tomboy Panda Bear
- Bon Iver
- Zomby Dedication
- Brighter Days Stanton Davis' Ghetto-Mysticism
- Stone Coal White
- The Boddie Recording Company
- Bambara Mystic Soul
- Bad as Me Tom Waits
But the digital library is not as reliable as it should be since since I lost my mobile listening devices to multiple failures in the summer. In the vinyl stakes I was pulling a lot from the Jazz, Jamaican and African archives: Duke Pearson, Herbie Hancock, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Perry, Yabby You, Michael Prophet, Franco et le TPOK Jazz, Dr Nico, The Drive, Roots, Guelewar and Orchestra Baobab. And a lot of time was set aside sorting out the Batsumi reissue.
To bring in the new year I've made a rough random mix of 45s I've picked up during 2011 by chance, choice and trade. Lets see what 2012 brings. I hope to keep the spear burning with releasing more South African afro-jazz classics.
45s REWIND - SOME JIVE TALKING
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Copies may still available from stores like Dusty Groove, Honest Jons, Kristina, Eldica, Sounds of the Universe and a few others. The Matsuli store is also on vacation and will open once more in early January. Thanks again for your support. We're already working on MM103.
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Monday, December 12, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
A number of people have asked if a FLAC version of the Batsumi is available for purchase - well here it is. Also for those struggling with the online stores to purchase the MP3 version you can now also buy this directly. Follow the links on the right hand side to purchase. (Please note that this is not an immediate download as it requires verification and email of the download link.)
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Sunday, December 04, 2011
Just under a week since its release and a wonderful response. Amazon had the digital download sitting at number three on its most wanted Jazz downloads and the Guardian featured it in its "World Music" pages. Here's a sample of whats being said:
"What a nice edition of this Holy Grail!!!" - Dick d'Alaise
"It should be in every serious South African collection." - Gwen Ansell, Business Day.
"Such an incredible record" - Paulo, Superfly Records.
"A true gem that has been hidden from siight for far too long." P. Warner
"Landmark Afro Jazz from South Africa, 1974 — urgent, spiritual, political; shimmering, propulsive, surging. Reverbed traditional and trap drums, mesmeric bass, soaring flute and tenor sax. Warmly recommended." - Honest Jons
"The music is stunning... (As it builds, it swings, coalescing into a uniquely compelling statement of intent. By the time and sax and flute solo over organ, bass and drums, Batsumi has got you." - Dan Magaziner, Africa is a Country Blog
"Wonderful LP with hints of Abdullah Ibrahim in the piano work. Stunning stuff." - Phillippa, Picadilly Records
"Remastered from the original Batsumi tapes, and best played very loud, it's a vibrant, energetic workout in which slinky, repeated riffs are matched against wailing, sometimes psychedelic effects" - Robin Denselow, The Guardian
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Monday, November 28, 2011
For the first time in over 35 years Batsumi's glorious 1974 debut album is finally available once more. The remastered reissue is the second in Matsuli's ongoing programme to restore important but neglected South African afro jazz recordings back into print.
Francis Gooding, who wrote the detailed sleeve notes, had this to say:
"Almost as if it was unexplored territory, the extraordinary landscape of South African jazz is frequently mapped out by reference to a few well known landmarks: the glorious township swing and hot jive of the 1950s; the fame and misfortune of the modern jazz exiles of the 1960s, and their energising presence in Europe; the towering trans-national figures of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim. For the jazz music and musicians of South Africa that did not by chance or choice fall into one of these categories, the long silence of history has only intermittently been broken, and the legacy of past iniquities has served to consign many names on South Africa’s long roster of jazz giants to an undeserved obscurity. A wealth of music does not yet appear on the map, but when the contours of the jazz scene under apartheid begin to be surveyed in more detail, it is clear that a space must be marked out for the Soweto-based group Batsumi."
Honest Jons says:
"Landmark Afro Jazz from South Africa, 1974 — urgent, spiritual, political; shimmering, propulsive, surging. Reverbed traditional and trap drums, mesmeric bass, soaring flute and tenor sax. Warmly recommended."
Dan Magaziner says:
"The music is stunning...As it builds, it swings, coalescing into a uniquely compelling statement of intent. By the time and sax and flute solo over organ, bass and drums, Batsumi has got you."
Take a quick listen here and make your own mind.
The reissue is available on vinyl in a limited edition of 500 copies, each hand-numbered and provided on heavyweight 180g vinyl with detailed sleeve notes. It is also available as a digital download from online music retailers such as iTunes, Amazon and eMusic. It can even be streamed via Spotify.
To get a copy of this landmark album you can purchase using the following options:
DIRECT for buyers in SA
CD on Demand via Amazon
MP3 via Amazon UK
MP3 via iTunes USA
For wholesale orders of more than 10 copies please
Monday, August 22, 2011
One of the pitfalls of reissuing old material is not knowing if the master tapes are available. For the planned Batsumi reissue these were not uncovered until earlier this month when they turned up in an old plastic bag on the bottom shelf of a warehouse in Johannesburg. I was delighted - even though I had already completed an audio restoration, remastering and test pressing from a vinyl transfer. So its now time to get these down to the studio and see how they sound. Stay tuned!
at 8:29 PM
Saturday, July 16, 2011
One of the key spiritual jazz LPs in the canon of South African jazz will be reissued by Matsuli Music later this year. Initially I was unable to locate the master tapes and the recording was restored from a clean vinyl pressing. But the master tapes have now been located and I will be travelling to South African later this month to collect them and to speak to remaining members of the group. Tracks from the 1974 debut have appeared previously on the Comet Records compilation Ouelele as well as on the Strut Records compilation Next Stop Soweto. I have previously written about them here.
The recording will be available as a limited edition 180g vinyl release as well as MP3 and FLAC digital editions. If the research goes well then I expect that the release will be available for purchase from 1 November 2011.
The excerpts above come from a BBC documentary and feature Batsumi's bass player Zulu Bidi.
NOTE TO BUYERS: The matsuli store will be closed during the period 27 July - 18 August
at 8:01 PM