In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Saturday, September 24, 2011


CAPE JAZZ CLASSICS (South Africa, 1995.)

I love South African Jazz.  This is amother CD I picked up in Jo’Burg in the early 00’s.
Don’t dismiss it as some cheap Gallo compilation, this is a selection of live tracks by some of Cape Town Icons (Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee, Robbie Jansen, Winston “Makunku” Ngosi, Hilton Schilder  …). There is no indication of the recording dates.  

I was lucky to see some of those guys “live” at a small festival at the University of Cape Town in 1988 and they sounded pretty much like what’s on this CD so I guess these are late 80s early 90s recordings.

Robbie Jansen

Anyhow, these versions are as good or even better than any studio version I’ve heard. 

1.  Robbie Jansen & Sons of Table Mountain

   Tsakwe / Royal Blue

Robbie Jansen              alto saxophone & vocals
Alex van Heerden        fluegelhorn
Hilton Schilder             piano
Steven Erasmus            bass
Jack Mompie                drums

Hilton Schilder

Sylvia Mdnunyelwa

         2.   Sylvia Mdnunyelwa with guest Winston “Makunku” Ngosi  

Sylvia Mdnunyelwa     vocal
Winston “Makunku” Ngosi          tenor sax
George Werner             piano
Spencer Mbadu            bass
Babes Ndamase            drums
Winston "Makunku" Ngosi

3.        Pat Matshikza with guest Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee
          Stop & Start

Pat Matshiksa
Pat Matshikza               piano & vocals
Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee        tenor sax
Spencer Mbadu            bass
Ivan Bell                      drums

4. Robbie Jansen & Sons of Table Mountain
  Kalahari Thirst
Same as (1)
5. Pat Matshikza
with guests Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee & Robbie Jansen

Same as (3) + Robbie Jansen : alto sax

6.      Ezra & Duke Ngcukana        You think you know me

Ezra Ngcukana

Ezra Ngcukana             tenor sax
Duke Ngcukana            fluegelhorn
George Werner             piano
Spencer Mbadu             bass
Babes Ndamase            drums

Duke Ngcukana
7.      Robbie Jansen & Sons of Table Mountain   Mannenberg

Same as (1) and (4)

To me the highlights are the Sons of Table Mountain tracks, the infectious “Stop & Start” and the Pat Matshikza track with both Coetzee and Jansen,  … If these tracks don’t get you shaking your booty, you’re either stone deaf or you ‘ve got a hole in your soul !  There’s so  much love and happiness in this music!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FRIENDS & LIVE MUSIC - Thursday 22 November - BRUSSELS

Ain't nothing like catching some good live music in a cozy bar !  So if you happen to be in BRUSSELS this Thursday night and wonder where to go for a couple of fine Belgian Beers and a dash of Blues,  try and catch this gig:

Mister Jay: chant, harmonicas, guitare, kazoo
Doc Robur: guitare, chant
Bompa Loos: contrebasse électrique, blagues tordues

Where ?  Flop Bar, rue du Bailli 78, 1050 IXELLES
When? Action starts at 9:00 p.m.
How much it gonna cost ? Nuthin' mate, it's FREE

Two classic tracks recorded Live a few months ago:

feat. Robur (lead gtr), Loos (double-bass), Jay (rhythm gtr)

feat. Robur (gtr), Loos (double-bass), Jay (harmonica & vocals)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Silk World Music Group – Pure Silk (India)

Live at The Barbican Centre, London, 14th July 2000

 The idea of blending Jazz and Indian Classical Music goes back a long way but it was often at the initiative of Western musicians although there were some notable exceptions, such as T. K. Ramamoorthy or John Mayer (an Anglo-Indian violinist) to name a couple. And the source of inspiration was more often Hindustani (“North Indian”) than Carnatic (“South Indian”). 
But here too there were notable exceptions such as the already mentioned T. K. Ramamoorthy or Charlie Mariano who studied Carnatic music. John Mc Laughlin has been playing with Carnatic instrumentists such as mandolin virtuoso U. Srinivas.

The two main traditions of classical music are Carnatic music, found predominantly in the peninsular regions, and Hindustani music, found in the northern and central regions. Both traditions claim Vedic origin, and history indicates that they diverged from a common musical root since about the 13th century.

I am not a musicologist so I won’t go into explaining the differences between North-Indian and South Indian (or Carnatic) Music, but if you are interested you’ll find ample information on the Web. Starting from here (

It’s a Mauritian lady friend and colleague who brought this album to my attention several years ago. I can't tell you much on this band which is presented as India's premiere Jazz/Fusion Music Group.
The band is composed of Louis Banks on Piano & Keyboard, Shankar Mahadevan - Vocals, Sivamani - Percussion, Karl Peters - Bass Guitar. Guest Musicians: Satish Vyas - Santoor & Vijay Ghate – Tabla.

Louis Banks

All these guys are among the best in their field,  
You may be familiar with the name of Shankar Mahadevan who provided vocals for Remember Shakti (feat. John McLaughlin).  Louis Banks is an established jazz composer and pianist who also played with McLaughlin (on his Floating Point album). Karl Peters is India's Numba Wan Fonky Bass Playa! 

1.   The Encounter         20:57
2.   Colour of Love          10:51
3.   Shadows                  13:30
4.   Jugalbandi Duet      01:12
5.   Jugalbandi Duet      14:10
6.   Doors of Desire        13:44
This is superb music that will probably disconcert Jazz purists.  Forget all the crap that’s sold as “World Music”. THIS is the real thing!

Merci Francine de m'avoir fait decouvrir ce superbe album!  Love Eternal.

p.s.: just realised this CD is still available. I shall post the link for a limited period only.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

RARITY #10: a rare French Treat from 1962!

Special Festival d’Antibes Juan Les Pins
(33T - 25 cm, Polydor 45585, FRANCE, 1962)

 A special treat to mark the tenth entry in the « Rarities » series.  Actually the Rarities are the most downloaded posts (although it is not always reflected in the number of comments …). Anyway, last week end, browsing through a pile of old dusty LPs in a Moroccan Souk, I found a copy of an old French LP by Jacques Denjean et son Orchestre: “Un Disque à Tout Casser … “ (1963)  on French Polydor (the LP was released in 1964 outside of France under the title “The Tough Touch”) a collection of typical French mid-sixties cheesy soul jazz / go go instrumentals.  Lotsa fun!  I was considering posting it but realized it’s already available on a couple of blogs.  As was customary at the time, the back cover displays small pictures of other records of a similar style or related artists that may interest the buyer. I was intrigued by the pictures of another album by Jacques Denjean et son Grand Orchestre de Jazz – Special Festival d’Antibes - Juan-Les-Pins. A 10” (25 cm) 33 rpm album with eight tracks.

 I contacted a few collectors friends and for sure, there it was, in Paul D’s collection.  “I have it” he said “but I haven’t played it for decades and it’s probably in poor condition, anyway I’ll see what I can do”. It took him a week of restoration work and caused the loss of his last remaining hair but the result is here: a pure gem of early sixties French big band jazz. 

I said it is very rare, just check on the web. You may find it occasionally but expect to pay three figures, whether you pay in USD, Euro or Pounds!

The tracklist was a bit confusing as the tracks were mixed up on side A.  For instance track four was not “Studio 1” but “Walkin’”, a theme easily recognizable.  We’ve solved that and now the tracks have the right title.

Tracklist :
A1          Flash                                       (J. Denjean)
A2          Tenor Contest                         (J. Denjean)
A3          Walking                                  (G. Ammons)
A4          Studio 1                                  (J. Denjean)
B1          The Champ                             (D. Gillespie)
B2          Saint Louis Blues                    (W. C. Handy)
B3          Honky Tonk Tonk                  (A. Combelle, J. Denjean)
B4          Halleluyah                              (Grey, Robin*, Youmans)

Trumpet – Georges Bence, Louis Laboucarie, Michel Poli, Pierre Dutour
Trombone – François Guin, Michel Camicas, Michel Stekkar, Raymond Fonsèque
Alto Saxophone – Jacques Nouredine, Jean-Louis Chautemps
Tenor Saxophone – Dominique Chanson, Gérard Badini
Baritone Saxophone – Henri Jouot
Bass Clarinet – Pierre Sim
Guitar – Paul Piguillem (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B3)
Drums – Philippe Combelle (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B3), René Nan (tracks: A3, B1, B2, B4)
Arranged By, Trumpet – Ivan Jullien
Conductor – Jacques Denjean
Liner Notes – Aris Destombes
Photography By – J.P. Leloir

Don't forget to say a big Thank U to Paul for his fantastic restoration work and subsequent loss of hair. Gift of "lotion capillaire" (hair lotion) will be greatly appreciated.