In the short time that they have been playing together as a unit, the JAZZ EPISTLES, VERSE I have firmly established themselves as the most progressive of all African Jazz Combinations. At jazz concerts in different parts of South Africa they are constantly drawing applause from fellow musicians, critics and all shades of jazz enthusiasts, but not until now have they recorded as a group.
Track 1 — DOLLAR'S MOODS (5.27).
Dedicated to the Epistles' pianist, this Is a composition by Hugh Masekela, who injects into It some of those humerous touches for which he is well-known.
Track 2 — BLUES FOR HUGHIE (535).
A 12-bar blues theme by Kippie Moeketsi, capturing the deep winging rhythm of the Pedi tribe In Pietersburg, Northern Transvaal.
Track 3 — UKU-JONGA PHAMBILl (meaning "LookForward") (3.45).
A piano solo by Dollar that he composed "m 1956 whilst on tour with the Manhattan Brothers and Miriam Makeba.
Track 4 — I REMEMBER BILLY (6.00).
Written by Kippie Moeketsi and played on a groovy beat. Originally called "Free and Easy."
Total Time 21 mins. 7 sees.
Track I — VARY-OO-VUM (5.07).
Another composition by Dollar. Dedicated to the Cape Town author Howard Lawrence.
Track 2 — CAROL'S DRIVE (5.10).
A Kippie Moeketsi tune. Kippie himself is especially fond of the middle phrase featuring bass, drums and alto sax.
Track 3 — GAFSA (3.20).
Another piano solo from Dollar Brand. It tells of a man who was madly in love with a wonderful woman. She dies, but her vision comes to him as he walks through the streets of Cape Town on a misty night.
Track 4 — SCULLERY DEPARTMENT (7.00).
The Jazz Epistles claim this their best offering on the record. Kippie Moeketsi dreamed up the theme many years ago, and finally completed the tune with his fellow musicians in a brief 10-minute session at the headquarters of the Union of Southern African Artists in Eloff Street, Johannesburg.
Total Time 20 mins. 37 sees.
Another hard to find record - probably only 500 copies issued. Thanks to Warren Siebrits for letting me photograph his copy!
This classic South African album was reissued with a different cover (plain white with text) but on the same Continental label somewhere in the 1970s (see images). Other rare South African jazz recordings have been reissued with this same style of cover for example the 1962 Cold Castle Jazz Festival. Verse 1 is available on CD.