Good day to all. Today’s post starts the week with a rather rare album by Zacks Nkosi ‘Our Kind Of Jazz’.
The original was issued in 1964 on Skyline SK80160, a sub-label of South African EMI . The same album was re-issued later on HMV but today we are presenting here the original first release of this great album. An authorative biography on Zacks Nkosi can be found on flatinternational so today I concentrate on the music.
The recordings on the album ‘Our Kind Of Jazz’ were made between 1956 and 1964 by the City Jazz Nine and Zacks and his Sextet. The B-side with 7 recordings by Zacks and His Sextet will be featured in the next post.
A.1 CITY JAZZ NINE
Lefty’s Boogie (ZacksNkosi)
A.2 CITY JAZZ NINE
A.3 CITY JAZZ NINE
A.4 CITY JAZZ NINE
A.5 CITY JAZZ NINE
A.6 CITY JAZZ NINE
A.7 CITY JAZZ NINE
10.10 Special (ZacksNkosi)
I have known Zacks Nkosi–“Bra Zacks” as he is called by all his friends- for more than ten years and can sincerely say that he is a true and honest musician, born under the star of music.
Always pleasant, amiable, willing and striving, but quietly insisting on what he thinks right and should be done. Never flying high, but always basically firm and solid in his approach to life as well as in his music.
His parents originated fromSwaziland, but Zacks was born in the well-known location,AlexandraTownship, learning some music at the Roman Catholic Holy Cross Mission School, trying to master, as he himself says, the piano, bugle and clarinet at the age of ten years. Much has been achieved since then and I doubt if the teachers from the Mission School would have ever thought that ‘Bra Zacks’ has, over the years, put into practice so successfully the small amount of guidance he received from them at that particular time.
His knowledge has been enlarged tremendously by hard training, improving his techniques and mastering, to use his own expression again, other instruments such as the saxophone, bass guitar and rhythm instruments, beginning to read and write music, playing all over South Africa, either in conjunction with other musicians in other bands, or with his own bands, in the early days –“The Jazz Havanas”, “The Boogie-Woogies”, and during the last ten years, “The City Jazz Nine” and “Zacks With His Sextet”. From “The Blue Diamonds”, the first group he joined via “The Jazz Havanas”, ”“The Boogie-Woogies” and “The Jazz Maniacs”, to his own last two bands, is a long stretch for any musician, but Zacks has always stuck to his principles of true and honest music giving tribute to his many tutor friends and musicians –amongst the, the late Boyse Ngwele and Solomon Cele, Jeff Adams Catriers, who is now in Sweden and Abie Tetsoalo.
Zacks’ first LP consists of his own compositions covering approximately seven years of his recordings for EMI using some of his most successful works and played by both his bands.
I am certain all his many friends will want to have this LP in their collection as they should be able to recollect so well his struggle and success, his purity and honesty, his mood, his time and their time in which this music was recorded.
I am sure “Bra Zacks” still has a great future with us, as I would not like to miss his broad smile and his pleasant personality.
Liner notes by E.W.F. Bantu A. & R. on the original LP “Our Kind Of Jazz” 1964 EMI Skyline SK80160