11 May 2008

Johnny Mbizo Dyani - Grandmother's Teaching




Here is a rare item which has been confounding me for a while. A Johnny Dyani discography on the net lists this as being released on the ITM label in Germany. Having got the item, I found that it was actually a tribute record to Dyani from a group led to Marilyn Mazur, but with Chris McGregor and Harry Beckett guesting on a couple of tracks.


So, further research led me to this record which is another "Grandmother's Teaching" on the JAM Disques 0582/JD030 (France) label. And this is the real deal.

This album has six tracks:

1. Blues For Bra Dick
2. I Will Let The Spring To Explain
3. Open Ballad To Mandela
4. Grandmother's Teaching
5. Zalis Idinga
6. Majikas Bhekane

Composition credits are not provided on the record; most likely all are by Dyani. Recording details not provided either; most likely 1982 or at any rate, the early 80s.

Line-up:

Butch Morris, cornet;
Doudou Gouirand, alto saxophone;
Pierre Dørge, guitar;
Johnny Dyani, bass, voice;
Makaya Ntshoko, drums

Gouirand is French presumably and has done a few more records on the same label; Dørge is Danish and has recorded other albums with Dyani, mostly on Steeplechase; Morris is well-known having played with many prominent free jazzers in the 70s and beyond and Ntshoko has recorded with other members of the Blue Notes and their UK associates on the Ogun label.

"Blues for Bra Dick" kicks off the proceedings in a funky mode with a Dyani groove that drives the soloists along. "I will let the Spring" sounds like something that would not be out of place on a "Nordic" ECM album with a plaintive, evocative theme which could have been signed by Garbarek or Vesala or Stanko. "Mandela" is as the title indicates, a slow, somber and pensive ballad. "Zalis Idinga" starts off in similar somber fashion, but picks up speed after a short while and returns to the ballad theme at the end. "Majikas Bhekane" is classic kwela with the band in swinging mode and Dyani intoning over the rest. That leaves the title track which is truly something else. Dyani starts off in acapella and is slowly joined by percussion and then bass which leads into a duet and and fades out, unfortunately after about 11 minutes. This is an astounding vocal performance which I can't recall having heard on any other Dyani record. Worth the price of admission alone. Truly stunning!

28 comments:

kinabalu said...
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kinabalu said...
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Wallofsound said...

This looks marvelous, kinabalu. I'll have to come back later, though, as I've overshot my RS limit today! Thanks so much for posting it.

glmlr said...

Many thanks K. This is pretty seriously hard-to-find.

dalemcbdnl said...

I've been having trouble getting through to post comments. I think a new computer is going to be necessary fairly soon. Anyway, thanks for this wonderful share. Very rare and very fine!

Dale

chano said...

Kinabalu: thanks for this post, looks great. I only have the fantastic Song for Biko by Dyani and that one ranks pretty high in my book so looking forward to this gem. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have meant to say thank you. Please keep 'em coming.

gilhodges said...

Kinabalu is a person of exquisite taste and bounteous generosity (in this and other forums). Thanks!

ubu said...

Thanks a lot!

I just recently posted some south african stuff on my own blog:

http://ubu-space.blogspot.com/

Also I just ordered some of the Steeplechase albums by Dyani, finally! Looking forward to hearing all that new music!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for tracking this down, scarce as these South African records are to come by. Looking forward to hearing this one...

Musaklee said...

M A G N I F I C I E N T !

Many thanks... again & again.

hideo said...

first frigging rate!

all these great posts!! you guys are pulling all the stops--sotise must be proud ;)

ghostrancedance said...

Wow! Thank you! I'd never even heard of this one before... Being a huge fan of Dyani, I'm eternally grateful to you for this wonderful share.

ghostrancedance said...

P.S.

Any chance of getting Communications by the Jazz Composers Orchestra reuploaded sometime?

It was here: http://inconstantsol.blogspot.com/2007/03/jazz-composers-orchestra-communications.html

but that link is now dead.

Thanks! Great blog!!!!!

bayviewsax-lostsoul.blogspot.com said...

Talk about a great post! Love JD! Man... there's a guy that went far too early. Thanks!!

kinabalu said...

Good to see so many positive comments to the Dyani posting. There will be more Dyani coming; rest assured!

kinabalu said...

ghostrancedance,

yep, it looks like I have the "Communications" as a vbr mp3 download. Found it by accident in the archives. Not from the IS blog, I think, but from another source. It also looks like the Marion Brown "Juba Lee" link has gone as well. I've got a decent cdr of that one. We'll have those up again, for sure.

Peter said...

The Butch Morris discography gives recording date as March 1983.

Thanks for this posting! Always good to see Mbizo up!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful.

Those who dig this record are advised to hunt down the duos with Dyani and Abdullah Ibrahim on Enja.

thank you so so much.

brian

wightdj said...

I skipped this the first time because I have the different Grandmothers Teaching with Mazur. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

my biggest "thank you" for sharing this.
I am a big fan of mr dyani and his music keeps on inspiring.

Was lucky to find the "witchdoctor's son" album (the one with Okay Temiz) and it is hard to find any info on that rare album at all...It is one of the greatest album I have ever heard actually...clicks with my soul.
Looking forward to hear this...
Karl

Lee said...

Thanks for posting this one. It's taken me a while to get around to downloading and listening. The energy is just incredible, so exciting. It's very different from the somber tones of Dyani's work in the Dollar Brand Duo, even during the title track, there's just a very different vibe. I'm really digging it.

Newmill Mark said...

Beautiful stuff, thanks so much. Pierre Dorge is an very underrated player I think.

Anonymous said...

Paul said...
As with African Bass this is another historically valuable Dyani recording that needs to be heard.Any chance of a re-up.Thx

kinabalu said...

New link:

1fichier

Solomon said...

Thank you!

Javier Roz said...

Thanks. What a great album!

Chiquilicuatre y Zappa said...

many thanks

chuchuni said...

Thanks kinabalu!