`’Township Kwela Jazz & Jive (1940-1960)’ has received a warm reception so far, even above my expectations. It’s great to know that the music on this compilation can be heard again after being forgotten for so many years. The 180 gram vinyl pressing was sold out in a few months and the CD is available from Tokyo to Munich. On iTunes the album looks like a popular search too. Given the success of this first compilation another volume is now planned and we’re working hard to release ‘Township Kwela Jazz & Jive (1940-1960)’ Volume 2 soon.
…and the radio loves it too!
last Sunday I was invited to DJ at “Wicked Jazz Sounds” on Radio 6, the Dutch national station, where host Phil Horneman plays a wicked selection of rare Soul and Jazz. He was kind enough to give me some airtime during his show to present a selection of the compilation. Ultimately, the entire album was broadcast.
and a few reviews from various newspapers and sites…
The album was even featured as pick of the week on the site of American newspaper The Observer’s Very Short List
This is joyous, irrepressible stuff, which sounds much fresher in its original incarnation than it ever did in American appropriations (yes, Paul Simon, we’re talking to you!).
and another review from deepabsurdum.com
these gems produce a direct line to jazz-hands-in-the-air moments of naked enjoyment. This is the jive that set the night alight, before the raw dawn on Sharpeville cast a pale light that threw dark shadows.
Featuring a strong showing from the stand-out stars of the kwela scene during its seminal years of 1940 to 1960, there’s an innocence and enthusiasm in the music on this compilation which belies its age. It’s raw, it’s funky, it’s highly infectious and it’s entirely impossible to ignore as a sample of a more beautiful space in time. Selected from the International Library of African Music in Grahamstown, this is as authentic a sample as you can get, with all the tracks having been remastered. If there was ever a definitive sampler of this genre, this is it. Hats off to the Soul Safari blog for playing their part in putting the spotlight on these gems!
Words by Travis Lyle -deepabsurdum.com