What with the World Cup in football finale a day away, I thought it was about time to sneak in some South African music here. Another good reason is that this one was requested on a jazz-related mailing list. So therefore ...
This was the final installment of the Brotherhood of Breath, recorded at the Banlieues Bleues festival in France in 1989. The previous year had seen the release of "Country Cooking", a studio recording with many of the players on this live concert. By the late 80s, the only remaining from the original BoB was Harry Beckett, apart from McGregor, of course. A couple of tunes from that record was carried over to this cd, the title track the most obvious one.
An added delight was the appearance of Archie Shepp who contributed a couple of his own tunes and can be heard on tenor throughout the whole concert. A worthy replacement for Dudu Pukwana, one might say, though BoB without Dudu was not quite the same. The South African influence is quite strong on the first four tracks, while the latter three veers into more standard jazz territory and the penultimate one with the added treat of some Sheppian vocals culminating in a jouyous and swinging concert through and through. The first and fourth tracks features the vocals of Sonti Mndebélé, a fresh member adding a touch of sisterhood. Finally, the album features a piano very much out of tune. A pianist's curse, I suppose.
1. Sangena (Chris McGregor/Sonti Mndebélé)
2. Mayebuye (Chris McGregor)
3. Country Cooking (Chris McGregor)
4. Jikele (Traditional)
6. Steam (Archie Shepp)
7. Sweet as Honey (Chris McGregor)
8. Bessie Smith's Blues (Archie Shepp)
The full line-up can be found in the scans with the attached files.
Here are a couple of photos from Maxine McGregor's book: