Saturday, February 28, 2009

One for Joe

My introduction to the warm sounds of Joe Malinga came in the early 1980s on an LP buying trip at Manhattan Records in Durban near Point Road by the seafront. Manhattan used to import directly from the UK so it was one of the few places you could find punk, post-punk, reggae, jazz and other "counter-cultural" musics. The LP I am sharing with you today - One for Dudu - was playing on the speakers and it hooked me big time. He dedicates the LP to Dudu and in his work you can hear the shared spirit although Joe is probably not as single minded about his solo's as Dudu. I couldn't beleive that he was playing with European jazz musicians who had somehow grasped the sound. I took the LP home and have treasured it ever since. Later on in the 1980s whilst sitting out my time in London avoiding military service I used to visit Ray's Jazz Shop on Shaftsbury Avenue every week where there was a dedicated section for the Ogun releases and music from various other South African jazz exiles. I picked up Joe's other two LPs Sandile and Tears for the Children of Soweto. Last month I completed the collection with the 1989 LP Vuka.

If anyone has further background please contribute by posting a comment below. I have provided the discography and beleive that Joe probably went into exile in 1979/80 or earlier. In 1985 he was back in South Africa doing promotional and cultural work. It appears he was teaching at the University of Venda a couple of years ago but beyond that all we have is the music. And what great music it is. If the One for Dudu LP whets your appetite I'm afraid that all there is beyond that is the CD compilation issued by Brambus and available to purchase here. You can listen to the CD here. I haven't seen many of his LPs come up on eBay.

So here is the Joe Malinga discography.

Joe Malinga's Mandala feat. Clifford Thornton - Tears for the Children of Soweto (Canova 113, 1980)
1. Umdrah
2. African Mood
3. Tears
4. Usizi
5. Senecho
6. Nina's Dance
7. Jabula
Joe Malinga (as, fl, voc), Runo Ericksson (b-tb), Clifford Thornton (v-tb, perc) on #1-5, 7; Jurgen "Jux" Seefelder (ts) on #1-5, 7; Walter Gauchel (ts) on #1-5, 7; Johnny "Manhattan" Taylor (p) on #1-5, 7; Mike Guilford (b) on #1-5, 7; Bruning v. Alten (d) on #1-5, 7; "Chris" (foot calabash) on #6.
Recorded Feb 5&6 1980, Phonag-Studio, Lindau, Zurich (Switzerland)

Joe Malinga Quintet - One For Dudu (Meteor 32018, 1981)
1. Kipit
2. Imbhali
3. Zadibana
Joe Malinga (as, perc), René Widmer (ts, oboe), Johnny Taylor (p), Hämi Hämmerli (b), Churchill Jolobe (dr)
Recorded Nov 7, 1981, Tonstudio Stroher, Innsbruck (Austria)

Joe Malinga & Southern Africa Force - Sandile (Meteor 32034, 1983)
1. Ekapa
2. No Net
3. Two Sticks
4. Emsunduza
5. Imbhali
6. Asambheni
Joe Malinga (as, bar, perc, ss, voc), René Widmer (bar, ts), Jürgen Seefelder (ts), Joep Maessen (tb), Johnny Taylor (p), Essiet Essiet (b), Don Mumford (d).
Recorded Oct 30&31, Soundville Studios, Luzern (Switzerland)

Joe Malinga Southern Africa Force - Vuka (Planisphere PL 1267-43, 1989)
1. Penzi
2. Wish You Sunshine
3. Vuka
4. iTwenty-Five
5. Vivi
Joe Malinga (as,v), Monty Waters (as), Paul Stocker (ss,as), David George (tr), Atiba Bakr (ts), Steve Galloway (tb), Mario Canonge (pn), Paplo Nahara (b), Clarence Becton (dr). Recorded and mixed at Studio Friends Amsterdam by Paul Holland, 1989. Arrangements by Joe Malinga, Steve Galloway and Paul Stocker. Produced by Joe Malinga and Plainisphere.

Other albums as sideman:
Chris McGregor and the South African Exiles - Thunderbolt (PAM405 CD only, original recording 1986)
Francois Buttet - Ogun (Plainisphere 1267-55CD, 1992)


ubu said...

Thank you so much for this post!
"Tears" is such a marvellous album it's on CD on the Swiss label Brambus, just in case:

Alas, they didn't use the original cover - the LP is one of my most cherished ones!

Anonymous said...

He also worked with Fra Fra Sound on their Kalinha's Serenade album and on a later album they dedicated a song to him,incedently,One for Malinga.On that Fanakalo album,Ogun he blows a beautiful solo in memory of Dulcie September,on the track Sister.Thanks for the post! samboerou

Anonymous said...

Hi Matsuli,

You forgot a Geoff Mapaya CD ("Statements") where Joe Malinga played the tenor saxophone. That was after his exile in Switzerland when I went back to South Africa. He doesn't play on the total tracks but on five tracks.
You made a mistake in saying that Joe played with the South African Exiles' Thunderbolt. Chris McGregor asked for him, plus Hugh Masekela and Beki Mseklu and Peter Segona and Louis Moholo... Finally, the group was composed of J. Dyani, H. Beckett, D. Pukwana, E. Mothle, G. Matthews and S. Pinise. And that's all. This is one of the gems of my discography.

ReeBee said...


Anonymous said...

I remember Joe Malinga very well from my student days in Innsbruck, Austria. He frequently would play there at a cultural center near the university and on one night he and the late Johnny Dyani played into the early morning hours, simply on sax and double bass. Truly unforgettable music. I have since tried to find recordings of Joe but have only located one CD entitled Ithi Gqi. I also recall the drummer Makhaya Ntshoko who played with him on another occasion. Abdullah Ibrahim used to play in Innsbruck as well but was very unapproachable whereas we would hang out with Joe entire afternoons in the city and also listen to some of his music at his place during his frequent stays. MK

matt said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to put the Joe Malinga discography up on my matsulimusic site soon so any further insights would be great.

Anonymous said...

"African Moods" from 'Tears...' is an all-time favorite. It's nice to see that Johnny "Manhattan" Taylor is on other Malinga records, too, not just 'Tears for the Children of Soweto'

Anonymous said...

Nice to see an album I played on here on your blog. I could tell you a few stories about the recording session for 'Onw for Dudu' in Innsbruck, Austria. it was a lasting experience for me as a young musician at that time!
Hämi Hämmerli

Anonymous said...

I'm very proud to say that Joe Malinga is my Lecturer and he is teaching us a lot about music history.

wolfgang said...

I started with Joe Malinga's music in the early 1980ies and was happy to find the LP "one for dudu".
Recently I got "Vuka" from ebay and the CD.
Thanks to your information I now know, that the CD is "tears for the children of soweto" and 2 tracks added. So I'm 3/4 complete with his recordings and only "sandi" is missing. Hope, I will get that sometime.


ushaped said...

what a great story! is there any chance of getting "one for dudu" re-upped? thanks so much!

Matthew said...

been scouring the web for "Sandile" and can't find a copy anywhere, my former drum teacher is on this album and I had no idea it existed, but it looks like it will be amazing. any suggestions?

matt said...

Please drop me an email...matt AT matsulimusic DOT com