Various Artists - Castle Lager Jazz Festival 1964
Cover
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LINER NOTES

 

The 1964 Castle Lager Jazz Festival, organised by Union Artists, attracted 40,000 Jazz Lovers to the Orlando Stadium on the 26th September, 1964. Dressed in gay and what-have-you styles, the "guys and dolls" had a real ball, and the musicians were in the groove.

The set piece—BAG'S GROOVE—was played in as many ways as there were groups; the drum duet, featuring Early Mabuza and Sipho Ndlela, was a skilful conception, but the day's honours went to the MALOMBO JAZZ MEN led by Philip Tabane.

Malombo Jazz, which is on the first side of this disc, caused a great stir among the crowd. Primitive, yet sophisticated, it is a simple and soulful music.

FOOLISH FLY is a description of a man who thought he was taking the Malombo Men for a ride — they saw through his scheming.

MALOMBO MEN'S PRAYER is a reference to the gods that have inspired the whole musical concept of the Malombo Men. The prayer is said in varying tempos, typical of the freedom enjoyed by these musicians in their music.

YOUR NEIGHBOUR, is a 12 bar which seems to have neither beginning nor end, something similar to the wind blowing over the veld.

EMKOBOLA (Chief's Kraal) will remind anyone of the tribal influence in this music. It is actually the name of a chief's kraal in Vendaland. Drummer, Julian Bahula, has a ball here.

BLUES FOR YOU, another 12 bar, is a good epitome of Malombo Jazz. Witness the mood and what Philip does behind Abe's flute.

ZANDILE has to sound so well. It is the name of Philip's grand-mother. Pity it's so short!

The influences on the Malombo Men are varied. They range from the music and dances of the Pedi and Venda tribes to the flute-playing style of Roland Kirk. Some people have brought in Bach and other classical music Masters, yet, the Malombo Men claim they hardly listen to any discs, jazz or highbrow. It is just soul!

Incidentally, if you listen hard, you can hear Philip talking to his guitar—he gets so involved! The entire repertoire is Philip's compositions.

The flip side of the disc is made up by the Early Mabuza Quartet, with guest artist Sipho Ndlela. For the date, little Bunny Rachabane stood in for Kippie Moeketsi on alto. He did more than just stand in, he stepped in by contributing several originals! His attack and swing is reminiscent of Sonny Stitt. For Early, the drum duet was the cachet of his work. Witnessed, it came off very well indeed. MAXHEGWANA (Little Old Man), is an outstanding composition executed expertly. Note the change in beat and Bunny's swinging solo. It might be of interest to relate this composition to Malombo Jazz. Their origins are common—tribal. Maxhegwana is Transkeian, Malombo Jazz, Venda-Pedi. Now you just take it from there!
 

VARIOUS ARTISTS
CASTLE LAGER JAZZ FESTIVAL 1964


recorded 1964-09
issued 1964
HMV
EMI
made in South Africa
JCLP 62
matrix 2XAS 305
matrix 2XAS 306
33 rpm
first issue
cover printed by Artone Press
source: flatinternational Archive

TRACK LISTING

 

1.1MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
Foolish Fly

(Phillip Tabane)

1.2MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
Your Neighbour

(Phillip Tabane)

1.3MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
Chief's Kraal (Emkobola)

(Phillip Tabane)

1.4MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
Blues for You

(Phillip Tabane)

1.5MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
Zandile

(Phillip Tabane)

1.6MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
Malombo Men's Prayer

(Phillip Tabane)

2.7EARLY MABUZA QUARTET
Little Old Man (Maxhegwana)

(Pat Matshikiza)

2.8EARLY MABUZA QUARTET
Perseverance (Ngenyameko)

(Pat Matshikiza)

2.9EARLY MABUZA QUARTET
The Idea

(Barney Rachabane)

2.10EARLY MABUZA QUARTET
Just That Way

(Early Mabuza)

2.11EARLY MABUZA QUARTET
Barney's Way

(Barney Rachabane)

ARTISTS

 

MALOMBO JAZZ MEN
PHILIP TABANE - guitar
ABBEY CINDI - flute
JULIAN BAHULA - drums
EARLY MABUZA QUARTET
EARLY MABUZA - drums
PATRICK MATSHIKIZA - piano
BARNEY RACHABANE - sax
ERNEST MOTHLE - bass
SIPHO NDLELA

NOTES

 

This classic album features the original line-up of the Malombo Jazz Men with Phillip Tabane, Abbey Cindi and Julian Bahula. The group would soon split in 1966.

After the break-up, Tabane worked with Gabriel 'Mabi' Thobejane and continued recording under the name Malombo Jazzmen and then later simplified it to just Malombo.

Bahula and Cindi teamed up with Lucky Ranku and formed the Malombo Jazz Makers. Their first LP after this recording was titled Malompo. Bahula and Ranku would go on to form the group Jabula while in exile in London.

Read more about Malombo at 3rd Ear Music—David Mark's fantastic website on South African music. Read more about Julian Bahula here.