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02 Dec 2016 00:00
The PlaylistShabaka and the Ancestors’ Wisdom of Elders: This project by London-based Shabaka Hutchings and local talents Nduduzo Makhathini, Mthunzi Mvubu, Mandla Mlangeni, Siyabonga Mthembu, Ariel Zamonsky, Gontse Makhene and Tumi Mogorosi is an exciting assemblage of jazz’s new guard. I was lucky enough to write the liner notes.
The Howlin’ Wolf Story — The Secret History of Rock & Roll: The other night I happened upon the story of Howlin’ Wolf, in documentary form.
Pharoah Sanders’ Black Unity: Sanders 1971 masterpiece is true to its title, melding the complex, uncontainable talents of Stanley Clarke (bass), Norman Connors (drums) and Joel Bonner (piano) to a wider cast. With the civil rights movement disintegrating, Sanders squeals and bleats, but his team catch these far-out wails and bring them into orbit, as if sheltering him from the raging storm. (KS)
The Reading ListMore Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in sonic fiction: Kodwo Eshun’s book sits deep in the intersection of myth-science, futurism and music. It looks at machine music, sonic surrealism and how the electrification of jazz, instead of jolting us forward into the future, forced the future to catch up with black music. (LN)
William “Bloke” Modisane’s Blame Me on History: This autobiographical tome is not just an extraordinarily well-written book: Modisane’s acerbic nature, which slides between despair, witticism, humour and hope, cuts through the romanticism of native nostalgia and the sepia-toned amnesia of the Drum era. (LN)
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