Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jazz and Hot Dance in South Africa 1946-1959 (1985)

Occasionally you happen upon a golden album by chance, in a bin where it's totally out of place or one where normally you would never look. Although I do not quite remember where I found this one, I know it was serendipitous, and that I was in luck.

Jazz and Hot Dance in South Africa is a compilation of early jazz recordings from that country. The bopping begins with the Manhattan Brothers, and it does not slow down through 16 songs lasting 43.5 minutes. These are African mutations of American jazz from earlier decades, treasures from the shabeens that grew into distinctive township jazz. There are too many bands to name, but the highlight for me is the early Dorothy Masuka hit, "Ba Zali Bami." The hip song from the Shanty City Seven is sweet, and the closing track spotlights well-known penny-whistle jive master, Spokes Mashiyane.

This collection reminds my of John Storm Roberts' Original Music efforts due to its unearthing of rare vintage recordings and their detailed presentation. Every track has all available details included on the record sleeve: musicians, original publishing date and source, and English translations of song titles. I've included close-up photos of the extensive notes in the download, but a better option is to head over to the wonderful archive FlatInternational, where all the notes are published on the web.

Most, if not all of the songs, were taken from original records, so there is normal surface noise, but that does not detract at all from the great music. Jump and jive to this one, baby!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

wonderful--thank you!!

Apurva Bahadur said...

Many thanks. Apurva from Pune, India.

legrandmaitre said...

I bought most of this series when they first came out. The South Africa one is particularly good.

Just discovered your blog via Global Grooves - you have a lot of albums that are right up my street. A big thank you for sharing.

Le Porc Rouge said...

Lovely. Love the vintage SA jazz stuff, many thanks!

Rhythm Connection said...

You are all very welcome. Thanks for visiting!

mensajes claro said...

Wonderful , thank you!!

boogieman said...

Marvelous. I have a few Lp in the series (including the Belgian one, compiled by the late Robert Pernet) but this one is by far the strongest. It's quite unbelievable how deeply they understood and assimilated jazz.
Your blog is superb!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I saw an earlier post of yours where you said less than 1% of visitors to your blog come looking for a particular album. Well, I came for an S.E. Rogie LP you have, but after looking around I found this and a few other things I might never have even known existed if not for you. So if that's your intention in running this blog, then mission accomplished!

Anonymous said...

I've looked for some of these records for literally *decades* - how you found them all must be quite a story (or stories). In any case, many thanks for all of your work; I'd be happy just to get these in a quickie 128k with whatever surface noise, but the fact that these are as clean as possible is just wonderful. Thanks again & best wishes.

Rhythm Connection said...

@Anonymous: Cool! My pleasure, friends.

@boogieman: I've got the Cuban one too, and that'll be coming up sooner or later, when I begin probing that rich vein. Cheers!