ABBEY CINDI is a Pretorian Fingo and he leads the trio. He is 27 years old and a batchelor. He is an unassuming man who is dedicated to the flute which he plays with astounding ability and feeling. In this LP he also plays the harmonica and makes wonderful improvisations with talks in "Abbey's Mood" with it. In this track Abbey certainly excels himself. He also does the singing in "Zimbababelo".
JULIAN BAHULE is 27 years old and is of Pedi origin. Always serious when pounding the malombo drums, he takes you through a maze of moods which range from deep sadness and whirl up to an ecstasy which usually leaves the listener way up in the clouds. The Julian, the frugally-composed near-genius, will tell you that he had been chasing an elusive ghost while he was pounding the malombo drums.
This is his second LP with ABBEY CINDI. In the first, under the banner of THE MALOMBO JAZZ MEN jockeyed by the ace guitarist, PHILLIP TABANE, they had six tracks in the "1964 JAZZ FESTIVAL WINNERS" collector's album.
LUCAS RANKU in this soulful session replaces Phillip who broke off from the original Malombos on guitar. Lucas was "discovered" by Abbey while he was strumming his guitar at a party in Vlakfontein, Pretoria a few weeks after the Tabane walk-out. He immediately recognised his potentialities and asked him to join his group which was in need of a guitarist. Lucas did himself proud after a number of rehearsals.
On this sitting there is a vocalist HILDA TLOUBATLA, of the MOTELLA QUEENS, belting a catchy tune called "Jikeleza."
The MALOMBO JAZZMAKERS are really cut out to be on top of the jazz scene for quite some time.
By CASEY MOTSISI,
"World" Jazz Critic,
P.O. Box 6663,
MALOMBO JAZZ MAKERS
This is the second LP featuring Abbey Cindi and Julian Bahula and their first as the Malombo Jazz Makers. Their first LP as the Malombo Jazz Men included guitarist Phillip Tabane and was recorded after they won first prize at the 1964 Castle Lager Jazz Festival. When Tabane left the group, Lucky Ranku joined on guitar and they recorded this album with Hilda Tloubatla on vocals. The group recorded a second album titled Volume 2, three years after this release. Bahula and Ranku would later go on to form the London-based group in exile, Jabula.
Dating both LPs has been quite difficult. Malompo Jazz could have been recorded as early as 1965 though based on the matrix numbers I estimate that it could be 1966. Volume 2 was issued on Gallo's Continental label (ZB 8162) and is featured on a compilation LP Music Sounds of Africa (SGALP 1578) issued in 1969. The liner notes here suggest Cindi's age to be 27 at the time of the recording and Huskisson gives his birthdate as October 15th, 1937. This would put this recording as early as 1965. The matrix numbers on the other hand suggest a recording somewhere during 1966 or even 1967.
Pictured in the image grid above is a unique item that appears to be an internal document from Gallo records. The steel "sample record" features tracks from Side A of Malompo Jazz as well as notes on improving the sound quality. The date of its issue, July 3rd, 1972, suggests perhaps that this recording was being prepared for reissue. (At least one reissue is known with a blue Gallo label.) Included in the package is an original typed copy of Casey Motsisi liner notes with corrected mistakes and all.
This steel disc came to me via eBay from a large collection of South African material located in Austin, Texas. Other oddities in the collection included test recordings and various significant rare items.