Blue Notes – Legacy: Live In South Afrika 1964

Reissue of Ogun material is a reminder of what a group of passionate South African musicians brought into British jazz in the 1960s

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This live recording came just prior to the sextet’s journey to Europe for the Juan-Les-Pins Jazz Festival, an historic sojourn which found the musicians based in Europe thereafter, escaping the oppressive regime imposed by the apartheid system.

Apart from Nick Moyake, all the individuals concerned would ply their trade in and around the UK for many years after, becoming a very welcome addition to the domestic scene. Louis Moholo-Moholo was the only one to live into anything like old age (he is now 82). Sadly, Moyake returned quite quickly to his homeland, only to die a year later.

The music has been available before – the last time being part of an Ogun boxed set (now long deleted) but this re-release serves as a potent reminder of exactly what these passionate musicians brought to the British music world.

The recording quality is perfectly acceptable, apart from Chris McGregor’s piano sounding like it might be in another room, and the horns supply some spirited blowing. Feza displays a style not far removed from Don Cherry’s, Pukwana is perhaps not quite as edgy as we became used to back in the days of the Brotherhood Of Breath and Assagai, whilst Moyake sports many of the traits we associated with the classic tenor players.

The rhythm section is well up to speed in support, Dyani solid as a rock, Moholo-Moholo more predictable in his accents than would become the case in later years and McGregor probably wishing his instrument had been tuned before the event.

The standard I Cover the Waterfront is the only non-original they tackle. Pukwana’s Now and B My Dear became staples in the repertoire of the McGregor-led Brotherhood.

Discography
Now; Coming Home; I Cover The Waterfront; Two For Sandi; Vortex Special; B My Dear; Dorkay House (72.48)
Chris McGregor (p); Dudu Pukwana (as); Nick Moyake (ts); Mongezi Feza (t); Johnny Dyani (b); Louis Moholo-Moholo (d). Durban, 1964.
Ogun OGCD024