greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 02/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, let's do some background on this album. Johnny Dyani was one of a generation of South African musicians who left their country during apartheid and who went to Europe and North American. They then formed musical alliances who musicians from all over the globe including a generation of British and American free jazz players. It was a incredibly potent mixture of musical traditions.
This CD is a paragon of the results. Dyani plays bass, piano and sings. John Tchicai is on alto and soprano sax, Dudu Pukwana is on alto and tenor sax and Luez Carlos de Sequaira is on drums. They are joined by Alfredo Do Nascimento on guitar and Mohamed Al-Jabry on congas.
There are six songs on the CD along with four alternate takes. One of the songs with an alternate take is Ntyilo Ntyilo which is Johnny on bass and vocals accompanied by Do Nascimento on acoustic guitar. This is a traditional tune arranged with very Brazilian sounding guitar and the whole thing doesn't quite work for me. This addition of this particular selection is the origin of my 'hodgepodge' in my review title.
Enough whining. Let's get to the glorious part. The rest of the CD is unbelievable. If you are unfamiliar with Dudu Pukwana, you are in for a real treat. He is an incredible player who never got anywhere near the recognition he deserved. The other reviewer is correct- the combination of Pukwana and Tchicai playing together is a continuous highlight.
This is a very good intro to a solid and very interesting group of musicians who played together in many different configurations. Following the musical trails of Pukwana and Dyani will lead you to people like Chris McGregor, Pierre Dorge and Mongezi Feza. And to many of the people on the London and New York free jazz scenes of the period. Enter the musical world of Mr. Dyani at the risk of enchantment and education. Enjoy.
"Township" Free Jazz!
W. Giles | 04/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a South African take on "free jazz". Its kinda intense in places but it still retains a very basic "township jazz" feel overall. But anything with Dudu Pukwana is worth the price of admission!"