Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kwela By Gwigwi's Band

The missing link between be-bop and ska is kwela township jazz from South Africa. This rare LP on the 77 Records label was released in 1971 and features ex-pat South Africans living in London.

The sleeve notes say -

"Kwela is the popular dance music of the South African townships. It is the folk music of urban South Africa, and has developed from tribal origins with the growth of the townships themselves. The tunes can be heard sung or whistled all over the African townships by adults and children, and there is no festive occasion or Saturday night gathering where this unique swinging music does not play an integral part. In the early '50's at the time of the first "African Jazz" shows, Kwela was recorded and imported from South Africa for the first time by people like Zakes Nkosi, Spokes Mashiyane and Lemmy Special, the penny whistle virtuoso. It is the music that made Miriam Makeba famous; the "Black Panther" from South africa who has sung with Harry Belafonet's Band and is known throughout America and Europe for her famous "click-song".
Gwigwi's Band is composed of four South africans who have settled in London. Gwigwi Mrwebi himself comes from Johannesburg and has been playing kwela on his alto-sax fro many years. He first came to the U.K. with the pit-band of the musical "King Kong", and was later joined by his wife, son and daughter. The other alto-sax is played by Dudu Pukwanana from Port Elizabeth, who also arranged the songs. He is a very talented jazz muscician and came to London in a modern jazz group, the Blue Notes led by Chris McGregor from Cape Town. It is Chris who plays the piano on this record. The tenor-saxophonist, Ronnie Beer from Cape Town, was also a member of the Blue Notes. They are accommpanied by Coleridge Goode from Jamaica on bass, and Laurie Allen from London on drums."

Maxine Lautre.

Gwigwi's Band - Good News

Gwigwi's Band - Nyusamkhaya

Gwigwi's Band - Lily Express

Gwigwi's Band - Rough Deal

Gwigwi's Band - Kwazakhele

Gwigwi's Band - Mini Mthembo

Gwigwi's Band - Hayini Bo

Gwigwi's Band - Nick Thethe

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.


Botched Surgery said...

THANK YOU! Preparing a radio show honoring Miriam Makeba and wanted some Blue Notes, as they all emigrated from S.A. to perform in the King Kong musical...weird world.

peace to you

Anonymous said...

Just found this incredible album today by accident for a euro. I am listening to it right now.
Awesome record.....