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© Ben Robertson 2006 - 2015


a concise guide to African jazz

This website about jazz from sub Saharan Africa was established in 2006.

It is suggested that newcomers and anyone seeking an overview of the subject look first at Frequently Asked Questions

What’s new?

27th December 2015 - feature article about this site’s 2015 Album of the Year entitled “E.T. Mensah & The Tempos’ relationship with jazz:  thoughts and a review prompted by ‘King of Highlife Anthology’ ” plus annotated track list for the album added

16th December 2015 - 2015 albums of the year and recommended recordings; some recent books; quotation of the year and overview of the year added

International Jazz Day, 30th April 2015 - Jazz at the 2015 South African Music Awards plus praise for Simphiwe Dana and disdain for xenophobia added

31st March 2015 - Afrigo at 40 featuring reviews of live performances by Afrigo, Galaxy Band and the PSK Trio; new releases from Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal, Wanda Baloyi, Tutu Puoane, Ndikho Xaba & the Natives and the Benjamin Jephta Quintet plus the 2015 SAMA (South African Music Awards) shortlist added

28th February 2015 - A bonanza of good jazz - part two  featuring reviews of albums by Franco, Abdullah Ibrahim, Kyle Shepherd, Afrika Mkhize, Nduduzo Makhathini, Steve Dyer, Hailu Mergia and Claude Cozens added

31st January 2015 - A bonanza of good jazz - part one featuring reviews of albums by Ray Lema, Herbie Tsoaeli, Lex Futshane and Sipho Gumede added

22nd December 2014 - Recommended recordings 2014 added together with an overview article: The Future is Female,but will there be any recordings? plus Southern African jazz in the 20 years since apartheid

30th November 2014 - Koffi Olomide celebrates OK Jazz genius Franco: a review of the DVD “Koffi Chante Luambo - Live Concert” added

31st October 2014 - Three months on a camel added, featuring reviews of recordings by African Jazz, Tony Allen, Ayetoro/ Funsho Ogundipe, Manu Dibango, Harry Miller, Louis Moholo-Moholo, McCoy Mrubata; Sia Tolno plus the albums “Duduvudu – The Gospel According to Dudu Pukwana,” “Les Plus Classiques de la Musique Congolaise,”  the documentary movie “Finding Fela” together with reflection on “Indépendance Cha Cha” and  Africa at the 2014 London Jazz Festival in  the light of the “Exhibit B” controversy and Zambia’s Golden Jubilee

31st July 2014 - An Apology , Verckys and The Verdict  added

30 th June 2014 - The Poet and The Prince, Simaro and Mabiala:  living legends of T.P.OK Jazz; Part One – Simaro at 75 added

31st May 2014 - Fraco’s Prince, Youlou Mabiala – A Prologue added

18th May 2014 -  Bokani Dyer’s debut at The Vortex and the future of African jazz in London added

30th April 2014 - South Africa’s 2014 jazz awards added

3st March 2014 - Time to eat hat: new releases from Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Geydu Blay Ambolley, Jimmy Dludlu and Carmen Souza added

28th February 2014 - Battle of the Divas: Angelique Kidjo and Tutu Puoane go head-to-head added.

31st January 2014 - Abdullah Ibrahim’s place in jazz history & a review of “Keeping Time 1964 -1974: The Photographs and Cape Town Jazz Recordings of Ian Bruce Huntley” edited by Chris Albertyn added, featuring reviews of recent albums by Ibrahim, Shane Cooper, Cape Jazz Band and Norman Chauke

29th December 2013 - 2013 recommended recordings including albums of the year, some recent books; quotation of the year; an overview of the year entitled The end of the beginning for African jazz added. Plus, Facebook like button and site logo introduced.

16th December 2013 - Tabu Ley Rochereau: In Memoriam  added.

6th December 2013 - Nelson Mandela remembered in South African jazz added.

30th November 2013 - Le Grand Kallé’s empire: the seismic shift in jazz - A review of the double album “Le Grand Kallé:His Life, His Music” added.

31st October 2013 -  Homage to Tony Allen: a review of his autobiography  added.

30th September 2013 -  review entitled Central African roundup: Papa Noël and a black box brimful of Tshimnagolagy added.

31st August 2013  - review entitled The Brotherhood of Breath vs Bopol - a roundup of recent reissues added.

31st July 2013  - review entitled The Jazz Maniacs behind Molelekwa’s “Rapela” and  Sathima & Abdullah Ibrahim’s  “Africa” added.

5th June 3013 - review of South Africa’s jazz awards and an article about John Coltrane in African jazz added.

17th  May 2013 - review of new albums byTrio Kazanchis., Bassekou Kouyaté and Ngoni Ba,  Les Tambours de Brazza, Monoswezi,Norman Chauke and Steve Dyer added.

17th April 2013 - discography of Moses Taiwa Molelekwa updated to mark what would have been his 40th birthday. The revised discography includes five newly added items: tributes by Lwanda Gogwana and Lil Noise plus cover versions of “Genes & Spirits” by Paul Hanmer and McCoy Mrubata; “Ntate Moholo” by Stiff Pap & the Gang featuring the late Moses Khumalo and “Rapela” by Sawadu featuring the Cameroonian master kit drummer Brice Wassy.

9th April 2013 - review of new albums by Hugh Masekela & Larry Willis, Louis Moholo-Moholo &  Wadada Leo Smith, Ablaye Cissoko &  Volker Goetze, Lil Noise and Nomfundo added.

1st March 2013 - review of new albums by Salif Keita, Lágbájá, Ferre Gola, Tsepo Tshola & Reddy Amisi added.

4th February 2013 - reviews  2013 added featuring Hugh Masekela’s new double album “Playing  @ Work,”  Professor’s “The Orientation”  plus new releases from Peter Nthwane and Zamajobe.

15th December 2012- Recommended recordings ,archived reviews for 2012 and details of some recent books added.

In December 2012 the site was redesigned and restructured to make finding one’s way around the site easier. All the previous content can now be reached from the menu bar which appears at the top of the page.