Monday, January 04, 2010

Still Grazing (Happy 2010!)

I made a conscious effort to avoid any kind of 2009 round-up or summation of the past decade. Partly laziness and a lack of time on my part but mostly due to an overiding sense of that the practice of reducing everything to top 10 lists simply cheapens everything. My private and symbolic "act of resistance" was reading two books: Still Grazing, the biography of Hugh Masekela and De Capo's Best Music Writing 2009, edited by Greil Marcus. The Masekela book has been rather elusive and I eventually found my copy at a second hand bookstore in Durban. The De Capo book saved me from pulling my hair out whilst with relatives over Christmas.

But enough about me. What about you? What would you like to see here? In many ways our friends at ELECTRICJIVE have taken over the baton of sharing rare South African material and I've told them to reload a lot of stuff I had previously featured here. I'm going to try to share some more rarities, a few more mixes and focus on the building the reissue programme of South African classics. But I'd still love to hear from you.

On the Masekela side check out this track from his great LP Introducing Hedzoleh Sounds

Rekpete (DOWNLOAD)

and then check out this tune from J.O. Oyeshiku and his Rainbow Quintet:

Oro re o repete (DOWNLOAD). Spot anything?


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you too Matt.I quite like the idea of making these little comparisons.I'm always amazed how the music flows back and forth in the Diaspora.Like Roland Alphonso doing a Reggae Grazing in the Grass cover,or Stan Plange's brilliant HiLife cover of the same track.How Hedzoleh's Kwasi Dzidzomu went on to play with Taj Mahal,the Todd brothers playing with Hugh Masekela on Myriam Makeba's Country Girl with Hugh playing piano.I also like the Francis Fuster version of Rekpete with Baranta.Just pulling these threads together,could be interesting,and they are plentyful.Or the story behind someone like Themba Matebese,the South African guitarist,that featured on the Nigerian Disco Funk Special with his T-Fire band.Aura Msimang ending up in Jamaica playing with Marley.Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza playing on Matata's Independance lp.Our musicians did so great things,but their work so unacknowledged.
Greentings Koos

Anonymous said...

Matt - great work as always and I agree with everything Koos mentions above. And it's great that electric Jive continue to carry the torch.

But just a quick note that the Da Capo book is also co-edited by the multi-talented Daphne Carr, who just happens to be the editor on my forthcoming Punk in Africa book as well. Best, Keith