Discovery of the Week -Thoughts Visions and Dreams -Ray Phiri

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On my recent safari my attention was drawn immediately to this album, the artwork and the name Ray Phiri performed magic.  Chikapa “Ray” Phiri of course is well known for his work on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album and popular South Africa bands like The Cannibals and Stimela, a hugely successful mbaquanga/fusion outfit which released several platinum-selling albums. But I have never seen this album before….so that’s why it is Discovery of the Week. File under African Jazz, Boogie, Funk, Soul….

 Thoughts Visions and Dreams

A Man-A Dog-And A Cow

Featuring Ray Phiri

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Thoughts Visions And Dreams are:

Ray Phiri: guitar; Ntokozo Zingu: guitar; immy Mngwandi: bass guitar; Donald Laka: keyboards; Isaac Mtshali: drums;Emelio Zulfar Hassan: percussion; Mcoy Mrubata:tenor sax; Bakhiti Khumalo

Guest artists:

Teaspoon Ndelu: alto sax;Mandla Masuku:alto sax;Sello Mpatsoane: trumpet


Mandisa Dlanga, Marilyn Nokwe, Phumzile Ntuli, Nomuntu Kapa, Beaulah Hashe, Lloyd Lelosa, Wings Segale and Ray Phiri

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A side

“Thoughts Visions And Dreams”

“Step Out Of My Life”

“Nothing Makes Sense”

B side

“Play That Sax”

“Cupid Shoot That Arrow”

“Dreams Of A Missionary”

Recorded in 1985 at RPM Studios Johannesburg.

Released in 1989 Gallo Records South Africa

African triumph in Amsterdam -Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ziggo Dome 2012

Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes -vid by Kyleathome59

Tonight  the documentary ‘Under African Skies’ will be showed at Amsterdam’s Tuschinski theatre, in the presence of Paul Simon.

Just last night the 70-year-old singer celebrated the 25th anniversary of his album “Graceland” and the 94th birthday of Nelson Mandela,  in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome in a relaxed, sometimes exuberant African party. Teerlink
Ladysmith Black Mambazo were on stage with other African guests like
singer Thandiswa Mazwai and Hugh Masekela who touches with his tribute to  Mandela and then with the beautiful ‘Stimela’, capturing the soul of the African continent.

But it was the a capella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo from KwaZulu-Natal that stole the show.

It was the same group that guided the American in 1986 and their leader Joseph Shabalala shone on last night’s stage accompanied by a triumphant group. “Hello My Baby” and “Nomathemba” started their performance, then Paul Simon joined the collective.

Paul Simon met Ladysmith Black Mambazo in de Ziggo Dome.

The real Graceland classic “Homeless” was masterfully sung, and the title track and “You Can Call Me Al”. The end of the concert deployed a set of Simon & Garfunkel hits. “The Sound of Silence”, sung by all the spectators and ‘The Boxer” before closing with “Late In The Evening” and “Still Crazy After All These Years”. A brilliant encore of a memorable evening.

As an inspiration for the recording of the now classic ‘Graceland’ Paul Simon has frequently named other South African groups as The Boyoyo Boys, General Shirinda and the Gaza Sisters but also Ray Phiri of Stimela-fame.

See also previous posts two rare 45′s by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Stimela -Look, Listen And Decide 1986

The film “Under African Skies” is added as a DVD to this year’s 25th  anniversary edition of Graceland.

Paul Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in the Ziggo Dome 2012.
Pics: Novum/ Michel Utrecht

David Thekwane & The Boyoyo Boys -Township Jive 1977

David Thekwane is a South African saxophone player who was equally working as a producer. He became most succesful with his productions for The Movers, mainly destined for the African Soul market and based on the music of American idols like Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett and Booker T & The MG’s.

Flatint  has an excellent discography and bio of The Movers so I refer to that page for more info.

David Thekwane also produced numerous other South African artists working in the same field with less success but nevertheless, good music came out of these collaborations . The most famous names include the Flaming Souls, The Mabone Boys and the Soul Throbs to name a few. Not exactly household names but these days their work has been rediscovered by UK based labels like Strut. Do check out the wonderful compilation Next Stop… Soweto Vol. 2: Soul, Funk & Organ Grooves From The Townships 1969-1976 ( STRUT057LP) 2010 Strut.

Today’s post focuses on two productions by David Thekwane with the Boyoyo Boys. Both singles were released respectively on Plastik Records in 1976 and 1977 and feature accordeon jive and sax jive. David Thekwane plays the saxophone himself on this rare SA released 45 single. Enjoy!

Boyoyo Boys -Lekker Krap (1977)

Boyoyo Boys -Son Op (1977)

David Thekwane & The Boyoyo Boys -Malombo Jive (1976)

David Thekwane & The Boyoyo Boys -Skeleton Beat (1976)