on life, music etc beyond mainstream

The Brotherhood of Breath big band – a cauldron of South African dance grooves, American free jazz and Duke Ellington harmonies – was one of the most exciting jazz orchestras to have emerged on the British scene before the arrival of Loose Tubes. At its core was a group of South African exiles including pianist Chris McGregor, saxophonist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo. This gig, for a very powerful version also including Evan Parker and the late Mike Osborne in the sax section alongside Pukwana’s voice-like tones, was recorded at a Toulouse concert in 1977. The opener, Mongezi Feza’s You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‚Cos You Think You Know Me, is unruly and exultant. McGregor’s Sunrise on the Sun boils and churns collectively over a steady piano vamp before setting up the late Harry Beckett’s characteristic trumpet skips and whoops. Feza’s Sonia, meanwhile, accumulates slowly around its hook, as if the players are casually wandering into its range. The almost 20-minute Kwhalo, the best track, swells through a run of individual and collective improvisations to a roar of Latin-sounding riffs, hollers and squirming sax sounds, and the brass-wailing, hard-swinging Andromeda brings the band’s blazing heat right back for anyone privileged to have heard it in its heyday. This music sounds rough and unfinished, rather like a big-band version of Albert Ayler’s early recordings. But it has Ayler’s haunting mix of anguish, soul and hope, too. (John Fordham, The Guardian)

Auf diese Besprechung stiess ich heute, und da Duke Ellington auch da eine kleine Rolle spielt, und überhaupt, nicht nur wegen Aki Takases Hommage, sondern auch, weil das Ellington-Stück „Lotus Blossom“ genau zur Zeit der Lektüre vom Balkon herniederschwebte, sei allen Zufällen gedankt, und John Fordhams Rezension auch hier zu lesen. Robert Wyatt spielt heute noch eine uralte Trompete, die ihm Harry Beckett vor langer Zeit schenkte. (me)

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