I would like to tell my people. That we think and cry for them now and then; it is not easy for us on this side of the world, but together we will have our freedom: Power to the People: yours in music.
Recorded at BARIGOZZI STUDIO
R.E. G. BARIGOZZI
Milan, November 14/11/79
produced by SERGIO VESCHI
Photos: E. CARMINATI
RED RECORD - M.D. SRL. MILANO
VIA CAMINADELLA, 9
Via Brodolini - Rozzano - Milano
Tel. (02) 82.58.041
[from: Mbizo by Lars Rasmussen, Booktraders Jazz Profiles, Vol. 5, Copehagen, 2003]
— Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (Enoch Sontonga)
— Jabula (The Manhattan Brothers)
— Abalimanga (SA trad.)
Afrikan Blues (Johnny Dyani)
Ithi-gqi (Johnny Dyani)
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (Enoch Sontonga)
Lonely Flowers (Johnny Dyani) (also known as Kalahari)
— Makhuklu Siphi iSidudu (SA trad.)
— Bayeza Kusasa (SA trad.)
— Nazo-intozelali (The Bright Five)
Ingoma Enkulu intSikana (Sikana Gaba) (also known as Ntsikana's Great Hymn)
The Robben Irland Struff (Johnny Dyani) (also known as Grandmother's Teachings)
JOHNNY MBIZO DYANI
Johnny Dyani opens this sparse, moving and at times frenetic LP with fragments of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika on bass; then shifts to piano on the track Lonely Flowers, normally titled Kalahari. For me one of the standout moments of the album is the a cappella introduction to the track South Afrikan which slowly yet briefly drifts into Bayeza Kusasa or “They are coming tomorrow.” Jonas Gwangwa’s version of this traditional song is one of my favorites and Matsuli has done some excellent digging to find four variations of it. My own sifting led me to this Dyani track and another much earlier version. Hugh Tracey recorded this song by a group of Mpondo and Sotho men led by Siganeko Nonkonyana in 1957 at the Great Palace of the Paramount Chief of the Mpondo (Quaukeni, Lusikisiki District, Cape) and features it in his Sound of Africa series (ILAM, TR 31, 1957). Interestingly, Tracey defines the track as a diviners’ or herbalists’ song and his notes reveal the lyric translation as: “The sick people are coming tomorrow—". For a sound-clip see Smithsonian Folkways.
Johnny "Mbizo” Dyani (1947 – 1986) with Dudu Pukwana, Nick Moyake, Mongezi Feza, Chris McGregor and Louis Moholo, made up the legendary South African group the Blue Notes. With a political climate that forbade integrated bands and performances, the group left apartheid South Africa in July of 1964 with no intention of returning.
For more on this phenomenal jazz bassist check out Lars Rasmussen’s excellent book: Mbizo – A book About Johnny Dyani. In the discography Rasmussen, with help from Olivier Ledure, has broken down the seven tracks with more detail about each part. Some of that additional track listing detail is included in the adjacent liner notes section. For more on the Blue Notes view Mike Fowler’s fantastic website on the group.