Sunday, 29 September 2013

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.

The front cover image is of Psych Big T Ntsele playing at a 1971 open-air concert in New Brighton Township.

So - in celebration herewith a very rare recording. As regular Electric Jive visitors will know, one of the bands that Ian recorded in Cape Town was "The Jazz Disciples" - which included Tete Mbambisa (piano), Barney Rachabane and Ronnie Beer (saxophones), Dennis Mpale, Trumpet, Max Dayimani (drums) and either Sammy Maritz or Martin Mgijima on bass. You can read more about them and hear their music here, here, and here,

It is known that the Jazz Disciples did record for the SABC in 1964. What is less known is that there was at least one commercial release of a 45rpm on His Master's Voice, featuring the historic Tete Mbambisa compositions, Umsenge (his first) and Tete's Jump. While the labels do not indicate a date or release, it is estimated that this would be either 1964 or 1965. 

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Monday, 23 September 2013

Bra Sello - Butterfly (1975)


It has been a while since we enjoyed some soul-filled looping bump-jive. This long-player has one 28"30' long rich and variously embellished track that stretches across both sides - swirling keyboards, Bra Sello's saxophone and flute, lead guitar, vocals, and walking bass-lines that meander mbaqanga-like around drums and rhythm guitar.

Produced by Cambridge Matiwane and recorded in 1975 on the Soweto label, this album is Selby "Sello" Mmutung's take on the soul-bump-jive genre just before it veered more towards disco. Bra Sello already features on Electric Jive in Siemon Allen's popular Disco Soul Jive compilation here; and Nick Lotay's posting of Mahlatini's 1978 mbaqanga offering, Kudala Besibiza here. Bra Sello also features on the highly popular Pull-Up compilation of 78rpm recordings, shared here.


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Monday, 9 September 2013

African Serenades Rewind - From Africa to Cuba vol 1


This post is a slight break in the predominantly South African programming here at Electricjive as we turn our attention to a compilation that has been requested many times for re-posting. The compilation focuses on African salsa and was curated by artist Ken Abrams who painted the cover.

My first foray into this genre was via a cassette I bought at the Camden market in the eighties. Not only was this my first introduction to Orchestra Baobab, Bembeya Jazz, Daouda, Marvaillas du Mali but it also contained some tunes and artists I'm still searching for.  Ken has steered away from the usual suspects and delivered a wonderful set. Enjoy!

African Serenades 43 - From Africa to Cuba Vol 1 Compiled by Ken Abrams
1.Viva Africa - Laba Sosseh (Laba Sosseh with L’Orchuestra Aragon, Akogun Theresa, Disco Stock SA 300070)
2.Seis Lindas Cubanas - Doh Albert (Doh Albert, A Manhattan USA, Salsa Africana Vol.3 - P.1980-Sacodis)
3.Whiskey et Coca-Cola - Amadou Balake (Amadou Balake - Afro-Charanga , Zamidou, Prod. 1582, 1981)
4.Con el Masayo - Laba Sosseh (Laba Sosseh - Salsa Africana Vol. 4 - P.1980 Sacodis, LS 38)
5.Descarga Africana - Dexter Johnson (Dexter Johnson – Estrellas Africanas Vol 1, Disco Stock)
6.Micorazon – Laba Sosseh (Monguito el Unico presents Laba Sosseh in U.S.A, Salsa Africana vol. 1- Lassissi -.P.1980 Sacodis LS 26)
7.Yamba РAmadou Balake (Amadou Balaké - Amadou Balaké A New York '79, Sacodis LS 22)
8.Ne Dihon Yale – Doh Albert ( Doh Albert a New Jersey USA, P.1980 Sacodis LS 34)
9.Avalou - El Jowania Y Su Orquestra Africa Mania (El Jowania Y Su Orquestra Africa Mania / Missan Bailar)
10.Sama Yaaye - Thierno Koite (Teranga –Method/JFC/Cat# JFCCD008 2005)
11.Sangre De Africa - Patato with vocals Samba Mapangala (The Legend of Cuban Percussion - Six Degrees- 2000)
12.Li Ci Seye - Thierno Koite (Ubbite -Method/JFC/Cat# JFCCD013 2005)

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