Stimela -Look, Listen And Decide 1986

stimela -look listen and decide
French Celluloid release

 


This album has been on my turntable for the last past days and its appeal is growing with each spin. I find it hard to resist the magic coming out of these grooves; jazz, funk, afro-beat; definitely a fusion of styles that blends into a gentle South African swing. 

Each of the featured tracks are winners, especially the bassline and close harmony singing on ‘Sishovingolovane’   and the comical funky mood of ‘Who Is Fooling You’  as well as the title track ‘Look, Listen And Decide’. Each track on this rare album deserves your attention so featured here today. Enjoy!

 

Stimela – Look, Listen And Decide

A1            Look, Listen And Decide        

A2            Who Is Fooling You

B1            Whispers In The Deep         

B2            Sishovingolovane          

B3            Nkata Mgreeka “Danger Signs”

Gallo – HUL 40109 -released in  South Africa 1986

Stimela, the Zulu word for “locomotive”,  is a South African Afro-fusion band, founded by Ray Phiri in 1982 after his previous band  The Cannibals, the soul music giants of the 70’s, disbanded.

 Stimela have since become little short of an institution in South Africa. Born and raised in Mpumalanga Phiri used to dance to his troubadour father’s puppet shows and had his first break in 1962 when he managed to dance for the legendary Dark City Sisters when they performed in Mpumalanga. From this performance he made enough money giving him a chance to travel to Johannesburg and start his own band.

Phiri, along with Jabu Sibume on bass, Isaac Mtshali on drums, and Lloyd Lelosa on keyboards were The Cannibals and during this time the group supplied instrumental accompaniment on recordings of other artists including Irene Mawela and the Mahotella Queens. The four joined forces with vocalist Jacob “Mparanyana” Radabe in 1975, continuing to work together for four more years until Mparanyana’s untimely death at the peak of his career. In 1982, renamed as Stimela, the band was further expanded with the addition of Thabelo Kgomo and Charlie Ndlovu on keyboards.
In 1985 the American singer and musician Paul Simon asked Phiri, along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to join his Graceland project, a hugely successful project that helped a number of South African artists to make names for themselves abroad. Phiri was the arranger of the Graceland album and he collaborated with Paul Simon again on Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints album, which saw Phiri tour for six months and perform on stages such as Central Park and Madison Square Garden, in Europe (1987) and the Soviet Union (1989), as well as appearing on top television shows in the US.

Although largely inactive nowadays, the mbaqanga/jazz/fusion band occasionally still appears on stage.

As  Phiri explains, “We all have different things that we do in life. Stimela is an institution and therefore we will come together if there’s something we want to achieve.”

Source:  http://www.gallomusicpublishers.co.za/

BUY ALBUM HERE and HERE

Members

 Ray Phiri -lead guitar, lead vocals

Isaac “Mnca” Mtshali -drummer

Thabo Lloyd Lelosa –keyboards

Jabu Sibumbe – bass guitar

Nana Coyote – lead vocals

Thapelo Kgomo – keyboards

Charlie Ndlovu – organ

Ntokozo Zungu – lead guitar

 

  

Almon’s Jazz Eight -The Mayfair Soul -Almon Memela

Almon Memela is a South African guitarist who started recording music in 1959. His early career included performances at the legendary Dorkay House, gigs for the United Artists’ productions of King Kong, Mhobelo and he worked for the soundtrack of “Dingaka”, produced by Jamie Uys. See also my previous post on the original soundtrack of  Dingaka.

His very first recording with The Travelling Singers in 1960 sold enough to ensure a steady flow of singles and albums. In 1963 he formed his group, Almon’s Jazz Eight.

The Jazz Eight’s line-up included amongst others, Henry and Stanley Sithole (who joined the group around 1966) and Bunny Luthuli (in 1968). In 1969 the Sithole Brothers formed the Heshoo Beshoo Group before they and Luthuli established the Drive in 1971.

 

Memela and his group The A.M Stragglers recorded ‘Soul Bandit’ for Little Giant earlier in 1969.  Here’s a funky single from 1971, ‘The Mayfair Soul/While My Guitar Cries’, (Little Giant, 1971)  produced by Clive Calder.

 Almon’s Jazz Eight -The Mayfair Soul     

 Before he worked as a producer, Calder played in local bands in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a UK based record executive and is also known as the businessman who co-founded the Zomba Group and its subsidiary Jive Records, an important outlet for hip hop and rap.