Big Voice Jack with Black Mambazo: Iye Bulala i Nice Time

Whilst fixing up the broken links from the YouTube article about Big Voice Jack, I came upon this earlier example of his playing: Black Mambazo (“Axe”) was also known as the Alexandra Shamba Band, and was composed of band members Aaron (Jack) Lerole, Elias (Shamba) Lerole, David Ramosa and Peter Khumalo. The band ruled the… Continue reading Big Voice Jack with Black Mambazo: Iye Bulala i Nice Time

Uile Ngoan’a Batho

The song “Uile Ngoan’a Batho” reminds me very much of Inkomo Zodwa – also sung by Miriam Makeba and The Skylarks, with Spokes Mashiyane improvising behind the verses as well as providing inspired soloing during the breaks. “Uile Ngoan’a Batho” is found on The History of Township Music, and – as this web page demonstrates… Continue reading Uile Ngoan’a Batho

Shisa Phata Phata

Its about time there was some practical, hands-on music around here, and to this end I’ve transcribed|arranged|made-up the short and sweet solo section from Spoke’s Mashiyane’s song called ‘Shisa Phata Phata’ (composed by a ‘R. Msomi’). Phata Phata was a popular dance “down Jo’burg way” (or sometimes “down Gauteng way“) as Miriam Makeba reminds us… Continue reading Shisa Phata Phata

More about Donald Kachamba

Following on from my last post about the Kachamba Brothers, I decided to try and find out more. First of all, I found some interesting photographs of Donald and ‘friends’ jamming together. These pictures were taken by Rike and Henrik Bettermann when they visited Chileka in Malawi as part of their 1996/97 tour of West… Continue reading More about Donald Kachamba

Kachamba Brothers: Musical Sunshine from Malawi

The Voice of America web site is running a very interesting African Music blog – well worth checking out. Matthew LaVoie has written a fascinating post entitled Musical Sunshine from Malawi which outlines how the Kachamba brothers, Daniel and Donald, discovered kwela to the city that is now Harare, but was then called Salisbury, and… Continue reading Kachamba Brothers: Musical Sunshine from Malawi

Skokiaan

Skokiaan is a significant instrumental that was composed, performed and recorded originally in South Africa’s neighbour, Zimbabwe. We’ve already seen that the influence of kwela has been felt in this country, and although Skokiaan is described as tsaba-tsaba, it shares a common ancestor with kwela: marabi. The instrumental was later recorded by Gallotone (which, perhaps,… Continue reading Skokiaan

Rare Willard Cele Recordings

Many thanks to The In Crowd and his/her learning2share blog for making these very early Willard Cele tracks available. Willard was the inspiration for many kwela players, maybe including Spokes Mashiyane. Listen to these recordings (Penny Whistle Blues and Penny Whistle Boogie) and you’ll hear quite a different style of kwela to that recorded by… Continue reading Rare Willard Cele Recordings

Kwela on last.fm

Last.fm has some good recorded content that is tagged kwela – unfortunately I can’t figure out how to embed the player here and then not complain that there is ‘Not enough content to play this station’. Follow the link to kwela on last.fm and check it out there – if it complains, try reloading the… Continue reading Kwela on last.fm

Take Cover! Zimbabwe Hits

Every now and again I find something really interesting as a result of the kwela project. It’s not always about kwela either, but in this case I’d say there’s quite a strong connection. ├Żlowek scavel-cronek is a blog that presents music that can’t be found in the shops any more. The first track on Take… Continue reading Take Cover! Zimbabwe Hits