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Matsuli Organic Grooves 5 Items

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Bea Benjamin with Dollar Brand - African Songbird
Bea Benjamin with Dollar Brand
African Songbird
LP | 1976 | EU | Reissue (Matsuli)
24,99 €*
Release:1976 / EU – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Matsuli Music is proud is announce the re-issue of African Songbird, the masterpiece from South Africa’s greatest jazz singer, Sathima Bea Benjamin. Originally released in 1976, African Songbird was a debut long overdue. A 1959 recording debut, which would have been South Africa’s first ever LP, was shelved. Her 1963 recording with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn was put aside by Reprise’s then head of A&R, Frank Sinatra, for not being commercial enough.African Songbird is a tour-de-force, and arguably the most dramatic and powerful release on Rashid Vally’s As-shams label. The opener, ‘Africa’, is the album’s fulcrum, a statement of breath-taking musical, personal and political complexity. It is a song of exile, of loss, and of return: a song that is both personal and universal, speaking for a people made homeless in their own land, speaking to those whose ambivalent embrace of exile ached for a homecoming. It speaks too of hope and resolution. Africa is a personally powerful declaration from a remarkable African woman: a song of deferred self and dislocated space finally resolved in an emotional homecoming. It is a song of celebration and mourning – a heartfelt paean to her home that is shot through with the raw sorrow of lament.Sathima’s voice, wholly unique in jazz singing, gradually sheds its musical supports as the programme develops. From the thickly-layered tumult of Africa, through the characteristic Cape Town swing that informs Music, the instrumentation is quietly reduced, then finally dispensed with. The title track is performed acapella, but for the natural sounds of the sea coast, the gulls and surf of the Cape itself. After many years of silence, two deferred albums, and over a decade of rootless exile from a home that had been made inhospitable by the inhumanity of apartheid, Sathima’s voice is finally heard, alone with her song, naturally, like a bird.Sathima’s career has been challenged throughout by a struggle to be heard. Her repertoire was resolutely uncommercial. She never played on her African roots to gain acceptance internationally, and her complete commitment to classic jazz idioms never wavered: as an African artist, this made it difficult for audiences, critics and record companies to understand the nature of her talent. The unique genius and global success of her husband Abdullah Ibrahim (previously known as Dollar Brand) cast its own shadow, and as the mother of two children, music could not always be her first priority. These challenges were exacerbated by the pressures of political exile, and for Sathima, due recognition was late to arrive.In recent years Sathima Bea Benjamin’s extraordinary life and unique work have received the critical attention and acclaim they richly deserve. Despite this, African Songbird, her first released record, has remained unavailable and largely unknown. This reissue remedies that situation in restoring and making available again an important keystone in South Africa’s jazz heritage.Sathima Bea Benjamin currently lives in Cape Town. She continues to perform the material that she first recorded for this disc. In association with Rashid Vally and Sathima Bea Benjamin, Matsuli is proud to present this album in its original form, making it available again for the first time since its initial release. A crucial piece of South African and global jazz history, African Songbird is courageous, revelatory music, and Sathima’s unique voice is the bearer of its message. It’s easy to see why Ellington was convinced.And to all the Hip Hop heads out there: Bea Benjamin is the mother of the one and only Jean Grae.
Pacific Express - Black Fire
Pacific Express
Black Fire
LP | 1976 | UK | Reissue (Matsuli)
25,64 €* 26,99 € -5%
Release:1976 / UK – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Militant jazz, fusion, funk and soul from mid-seventies Manenberg, outside Cape Town, with a set of roots in club dance traditions like ballroom ('langarm'), Khoisan hop-step and the whirling 'tickey draai' ('spin on a sixpence') of the mine camps; others in jazz-rock and the New Thing, from Santana and Chicago to Shepp and Coltrane.
Black Disco - Night Express
Black Disco
Night Express
LP | 1976 | UK | Reissue (Matsuli)
28,49 €* 29,99 € -5%
Release:1976 / UK – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Insurgently crossing Philly Soul, Cape Jazz and bump jive in 1976, the same year as the Soweto Uprising; poignantly shot through with Timmy Thomas’ Why Can’t We Live Together. ‘It was so important for us to play a kind of crossover then, to weave in touches of Motown, Philadelphia soul and Teddy Pendergrass that the coloured community appreciated, and Basil’s Cape Town sound, and Sipho’s sound that was legendary in the black community, and make music that people could all enjoy together… The regime divided us: people classified coloured had identity documents; black people had the dompas. We didn’t accept that separation. Sipho, although he was born in KZN, could play any feel. Sometime he’d joke, Does my bass line feel coloured enough?’ Another landmark Matsuli. The title track is killer.
Soul Jazzmen, The - Inhlupeko (Distress)
Soul Jazzmen, The
Inhlupeko (Distress)
LP | 1969 | UK | Reissue (Matsuli)
29,99 €*
Release:1969 / UK – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Another unmissable, scorching Matsuli revive! Tete Mbambisa and co, chasing the mbaqanga in Trane. Five originals and Love For Sale, from Johannesburg, 1969. ‘Both urban Africans and urban Americans were consciously crafting ‘modern’ music – and in South Africa’s case, it was a modernism deliberately and defiantly set in opposition to the narrow, backwards-looking parochialism of apartheid, where some white universities did not even permit gender-mixed dancing until the 1970s. The sophisticated, snappily-dressed black players of South Africa’s cities in the 1960s were not trying to ‘be like’ America; rather, they were enacting in their performance, and reaching through their horns for what a new South Africa might sound like.’ 180g vinyl with excellent sound; photographs from the Ian Bruce Huntley archive and concert bills; extended notes. Pure worries — ‘inhlupeko’ means ‘distress’ — very warmly recommended.
Ndikho Xaba And The Natives - Ndikho Xaba And The Natives
Ndikho Xaba And The Natives
Ndikho Xaba And The Natives
LP | 1970 | UK | Reissue (Matsuli)
36,99 €*
Release:1970 / UK – Reissue
Genre:Organic Grooves
Ndikho Xaba was born in 1934 in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, South Africa. For thirty-four years — 1964 –1998 — he lived in exile in the US, Canada and Tanzania. Originally issued by Trilyte Records out of Oakland, California, this 1970 recording is bracing, freewheeling Now Thing, suffused with SA idioms, and focussed by a political urgency wiring together US Black Power, Black Aesthetics and the anti-apartheid front-line like nothing else. You can hear Trane from the off — ‘a spiritual offering to my ancestors’ — and plenty of Sun Ra, with whom The Natives several times shared double-bills. (Xaba was to become close with Phil Cohran and the AACM.) Freedom is a gutbucket-soul rendition of the people’s anthem; Nomusa is dedicated to Xaba’s new wife, a poet and CORE activist from Chicago. The thunderous finale Makhosi features drummer Keita from the West Indies, and Baba Duru, who studied percussion in India, before winding up with Xaba blowing eerily through a horn made from a giant piece of tubular seaweed. Hats off to Matsuli for this outstanding reissue.
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