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OT: African Jazz


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Yes, I am aware of the African Roots of Blues and jazz music



but I am getting very interested in the African(-American) jazz musicians that went back to the roots of the music without just developing back. I'm talking about some music of Abdullah Ibrahim and also Richard Bona, music that is jazz but comes along with a very special African flair.


1) How do you call it? Is there any specific term?

2) What other musicians could you recommend?

3) Do you know literature about this field of music?


I hope you get what I'm after, but I gonna look on Youtube to find some examples


edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ke3EzioUAc&mode=related&search=

The Dromb Bopper
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Hugh Masakela is probably the first African jazz artist to achieve crossover success. He was a bandmate of Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand).


If you like Richard Bona (and I LOVE Richard Bona), check out Oliver Mtukudzi. I wouldn't label him as a jazz artist. He's been active since the 1970s but I only recently discovered his music.

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I don't really consider Richard Bona's solo work jazz, as it has in line with (as Mark suggested above) Mtukudzi African "pop" records than any sort of traditional jazz or fusion sounds.


Africa is such a huge continent with so many different rhythms, styles and dances, so the African influence will vary depending on the country the musician hails from or is paying homage to.


A really interesting band to check out is Chris MacGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, from the '70s. It was a large collective of South African exiles and British improvisers, creating this avant-township-jive mashup. You can hear the music of his cohorts, Dudu Pukwana and Louis Moholo, at:

http://destination-out.com/?p=60 (there's also a long post on Brotherhood of Breath but the MP3s are down).



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I'm not a 100% sure that this fits the bill, but I thought I'd mention these guys anyway:


The Pyramids "Birth / Speed / Merging 1976", 2006, EM Records


Odd, interesting release, definitely jazz, but the liner notes reveal very little. I have a review of it on my web site if you are interested in more details:


Review of this and other releases on my web site

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Kora Jazz trio:




Manu Dibango is also brilliant - plays sax and Hammond and vibes - but more down the soul-funk-worldbeat end of town. He is a very fine jazz player though and his harmonies sound derived from African tradition in a similar way to the way that Abdullah Ibrahim has that sort of African gospel twist on the blues that he gets from certain note choices and voicings.

Gig keys: Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Crumar Mojo 61, Crumar Mojo Pedals


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