Reviews that mention Johnny Dyani

June 15, 20127

Detail

At Club 7
NotTwo MW 953-2

By Ken Waxman

Recorded in late 1982, one week before keyboardist Eivin One Pedersen quit Detail, which had recently become a quartet when bassist Johnny Mbizo Dyani joined drummer John Stevens, Pedersen and, reedist Frode Gjerstad, At Club 7 is the only document of the band in this configuration. Although Pedersen (1956-2012) played with fellow Norwegian Gjerstad in the Calling Signals group a decade later, it appears that cooperation with Briton Stevens (1940-1990) and South African Dyani (1945-1986) didn’t work out. MORE

August 6, 2016

Artist Feature

Frode Gjerstad
By Ken Waxman

After more than three decades on the cutting edge of free music, Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad, 68, is more modest than he should be. “I realized very early that I couldn’t make a living playing the music I was interested in,” relates the Stavanger-based musician. “So I got an education and became a teacher while still playing.” Merely describing himself as a teacher downplays that Gjerstad taught economics, social science and sound design at university and college. Plus, before Gjerstad made the transition to full-time playing about 10 years ago, he worked steadily with some of the music’s heaviest hitters including drummer John Stevens, pianist Borah Bergman and cornetist Bobby Bradford. “I’m happy that I didn’t become a full time musician at an early age. With kids and a wife I stayed at home and could concentrate on the music I like. I’m not a big spender plus my wife has always been very helpful. She owns a kindergarten and I help her with that. She has been my biggest supporter all these years.” MORE

July 11, 2014

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Procession (Live at Toulouse)
Ogun OGCD 40

By Ken Waxman

The best jazz is often created through the synthesis of conflicting, sometime clashing musical impulses. So it was with the work of South African pianist Chris McGregor (1936-1990), whose all-star Blue Notes band of the ‘60s combined hard bop and (South) African musical influences. McGregor’s references multiplied during his European expatriate years when he created the Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band. On these live late ‘70s performances, sinuous kwela melodies and bop’s breakneck speed are part of the band’s disciplined Basie-like swing, yet at the same time sound extensions introduced by affiliated European free players have become more apparent in the writing and playing. MORE

December 8, 2013

Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath

Procession: Live At Toulouse
Ogun OGCD 39

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Live at Maya Recordings Festival

NoBusiness NBCD 55

Butcher/Buck/Mayas/Stangl

Plume

Unsounds 35u

Michel Doneda/Joris Rühl

Linge

Umlaut Records umfrcd 07

Lori Freedman & John Heward

On No On

Mode Avant 16

Matt Mitchell

Fiction

Pi Recordings PI50

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake
MORE

October 30, 2011

Louis Moholo-Moholo/Dudu Pukwana/Johnny Dyani/Rev. Frank Wright

Spiritual Knowledge And Grace
Ogun OGCD 035

Elton Dean’s Ninesense

Suite

Jazzwerkstatt JW 107

Prime, hitherto-unreleased slices of Jazz’s past, these CDs not only bring into circulation historically important live performances, but also confirm the skills of featured percussionist Louis Moholo-Moholo. One of the last surviving members of the many South African improvisers who left the country in the early 1960s because of Apartheid, Moholo, 71, still plays in fine form, and has returned to live in South Africa. MORE

July 8, 2009

Blue Notes

The Ogun Collection
Ogun OGCD 024, 025, 026, 027 & 028

What regretfully could be subtitled Tale of the Incredible Shrinking Band, this box set collects five CDs by the Blue Notes, arguable the best jazz band to emerge fully formed from Apartheid-era South Africa.

Consisting of sessions recorded from 1964 to 1987, the set traces the band’s evolution from a six-man boppish combo to a smaller group, which energized European – especially British – jazz by intermixing African rhythms and melodies, Hard Bop styling plus emerging Free Music. Leaving aside the first disc, Legacy: live in South Afrika 1964, the other CDs are necessarily reductive. That’s because after pianist and Blue Note leader Chris McGregor organized the Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band in 1970, other original Blue Notes left the enlarged group for their own projects for greater or lesser periods. Subsequently the remaining originals only regrouped for one/off gigs such as 1977’s Blue Notes in Concert, or sadly to honor deceased comrades. Blue Notes for Mongezi dates from 1975, and captures most of the 3½ hour improvised threnody the others played to honor trumpeter Mongezi Feza who died suddenly at 30. Finally Blue Notes for Johnny dates from 1987, following a similar post-funeral session by the remaining trio marking bassist Johnny Dyani’s death at 40. MORE

September 18, 2008

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent
Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn
Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood
Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath
Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

August 4, 2006

Louis Moholo-Moholo

Bra Louis-Bra Bra-Tebs/Spirits Rejoice
Ogun CD017/018

Sole survivor of the legendary Blue Notes band that left Apartheid-era South Africa in the mid-1960s, drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo finally returned permanently to Cape Town in 2004. But during the three decades that he and his fellow exiled countrymen lived in Europe they added an undiluted tincture of African sensibility to the developing Free Music scene.

This CD assembles two important large group sessions. Spirits Rejoice, released on LP in 1978, is an octet date, which finds the drummer and two other expatriate South Africans – bassist Johnny Dyani, another former Blue Note, and bassist Harry Miller, who left the country on his own – working out with the ne plus ultra of BritImprov including trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, tenor saxophonist Evan Parker and pianist Keith Tippett. Elaborated are five longish pieces that mix Xhosa tribe rhythmic inflections, revivalist hymns and freeform Energy Music. MORE

April 4, 2005

PER HENRIK WALLIN

Burning In Stockholm
Atavistic Unheard Music Series UMS/ALP 249 CD

PER HENRIK WALLIN
The Stockholm Tapes
Ayler ayl CD-032

One of the most respected Swedish improvisers, pianist Per Henrik Wallin, born in Karlsborg in 1946, is young enough to be part of the first generation of players who adapted the advances of Free Jazz to their own purposes. At the same time he’s old enough to have internalized earlier traditions of jazz piano from stride masters like Willie “The Lion” Smith to Thelonious Monk’s rhythmic and time breakthroughs – and able to bring them out when he wishes. MORE

January 26, 2004

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM

The Journey
Downtown Sound DS 1002

First -- and best-known -- of the many expatriate, anti-Apartheid South African jazz musicians -- Duke Ellington sponsored his first LP in 1963 -- Abdullah Ibrahim, then Dollar Brand, gradually adapted a more ethic identity when he became a known quantity in the jazz firmament. As evidence, here’s an LP-length reissue of his 1978 Alice Tully Hall concert. On it he uses both his birth and Muslim names to show his mature music was an mixture of Townships, Arabic, traditional and new jazz influences. MORE

November 24, 2003

ANDERS GAHNOLD TRIO

Flowers For Johnny
Ayler aylCD-017/018

Appropriately, though morosely titled, this two-CD set will be welcomed since it puts into circulation another 100 plus minutes of music featuring expatriate South African bassist Johnny Dyani (1945-1986).

The discs, recorded in 1983 and 1985, are also the only recorded examples of this working trio, headed by Anders Gahnold. The Swede is an avocational alto saxophonist, who abandoned jazz after Dyani’s death, only recording again on 2002’s AND WILLIAM DANCED with Americans, bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake. MORE

May 3, 2002

JOHNNY DYANI/MAL WALDRON

Some Jive Ass Boer
Jazz Unité 102

There’s a certain irony in the title, booklet notes and performance of expatriate South African bassist Johnny Dyani on this duo CD shared with expatriate American pianist Mal Waldron.

Recorded in Paris in 1981, more than 15 years after the bassist fled the repressive apartheid regime for England and the Continent -- where he would die five years later -- here he vocally rages against South African (Boer) oppression and urges Westerners to boycott the country.

Slightly more than two decades later the same country has a democratically elected multi-racial government, which until recently had been headed by then-imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, subject of a Waldron-penned blues here. Oppression is rife in neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe and the Congo, with homegrown dictators revealing themselves as bloodthirsty and corrupt as former colonial masters. MORE