28 March 2011

Louis Moholo's Viva-La-Black



Lous Moholo's Viva-La-Black
Ogun Records OG 533 (1988)

We had a request for this album in our requests section, described there as "completely obscure." As this blog thrives on complete obscurity, naturally we had to post it. This was Viva-La-Black's first album, folowed by "Exile" which recently has been rereleased on Ogun. Incidentally, this was the last vinyl album Ogun ever released as cds came to replace vinyls as the standard music reproduction format.

What we have here is a wonderfully varied album. Starting on the A side, we have the stately "Tristan's Line", followed by the lilting swing of "Joyful Noises" and rounding out the first side is the split-second (it's not over when you think it is) precision of "Mongezi-Frames Part One". Flipping the record over, figuratively speaking, we get the elegiac "Lost Opportunities" (my fave), the companion piece to "Frames", "Mad High" and rounding out the proceedings is the propulsive fast-forward shuffle of "Woza". Very accessible, very enjoyable, all in all, and an item not to be left to the dustbins of history, in my opinion. Fine musicianship all around, but a special mention of the very fine sax work of Sean Bergin.

Basic info:

Side A

1. Tristan's Line (Tristan Honsinger)
2. Joyful Noises (Chris McGregor)
3. Mongezi-Frames Part One (Keith Tippett)

Side B

1. Lost Opportunities (Harry Miller)
2. Mad High (Mongezi Feza)
3. Woza (Louis Moholo)

Louis Moholo leader/drums/vocals
Sean Bergin tenor/alto saxes
Claude Deppa trumpet/flugel horn
Thebe Lipere congas/percussion/drums
Roberta Bellatalla double bass

22 comments:

kinabalu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilhodges said...

Right you are about Sean Bergin, Kinabalu. No easy shoes to fill, what with everyone's ears primed to expect the magnificence of Pukwana.

Wallofsound said...

Not quite sure why this hasn't got a CD re-release, but the Ogun catalogue does come back piece by piece.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a1 is "Joyful Noises" (not exactly the same as, but sharing several motivic similarities with, the long, piano concerto-type track on the classic Brotherhood of Breath's second album).

Anonymous said...

This is great. And FWIW, I think Sean Bergin's Kids Mysteries is a worthy descendent of the Brotherhood of Breath. Cheers, MB

onxidlib said...

For a long time I have heard "rumours" about this album - now I'm able to hear it.

Really appreciated - thank you.

kinabalu said...

Gil: I was thinking of Pukwana while listening to Bergin. No accident, I guess.

Anon: Interesting point about "Joyful Noises." I'll have to listen again to the second BoB.

Marc: I might have that Sean Bergin somewhere.

miloo2 said...

Huge thanks, kinabalu ! going to download and looking forward to listen in the morning. BTW, I got some Sean Bergin rarity to post.

Anonymous said...

I've been after this album FOREVER. So many thanks!

gilhodges said...

Kinabalu, I have Kids Mysteries, if you don't. Let me know...

wightdj said...

Rare indeed, thanks.

Anonymous said...

woza, woza, woza...this is wonderful music, powerful, intense, dramatic, joyful...great!
I'd like to hear Blue Notes / Viva La Black live recordings. Can you help me?
THANK YOU!!
Bra Robs

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Many thanks!

Frédito said...

Thanks Kinabalu.
My favorite tracks are Lost opportunity and Woza (a contrasting choice)

kinabalu said...

Checking the archives, I have three Sean Bergin albums, but not Kids Mysteries, so any help in that regard would be appreciated.

kinabalu said...

Bra Robs,

we have posted one live concert by the Blue Notes (with Frank Wright) here and one with Louis Moholo here, but not with Viva-La-Black. I do have one from the mid-90s which I might put up at a later date.

miloo2 said...

thanks for reminder of blue notes with frank wright, kinabalu, i would missed it otherwise. BTW, i have found free download of mongezi's You Ain't Gonna Know Me by Sean Bergin from Nansika somewhere - beautiful version, seems like it is another great album dedicated fully to south african composers. i am also curious about Kids Mysteries...

corvimax said...

so good! thank you

kinabalu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

Thanks a lot. :)

kinabalu said...

New link:

Adrive

rev.b said...

Wow, an album on Ogun I didn't know about! Thanks!