Earth Wind & Fire headlines Cape Town Intl Jazz Festival 2011

Earth Wind & Fire

The US R&B/Funk band Earth Wind & Fire will headline the 12th annual jazz fest, which takes place on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 2011 in Cape Town, SA.  The Cape Town International Conventional Centre is again home to the festival, during which 40 international and local jazz artists will play on five stages over two days.

The line up so far

From the USA comes Wayne Shorter and his Quartet, Hubert Laws and the full original line-up, including Maurice White and Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire. The group  passed through South Africa before in 2004 but are now headlining the festival.

Local musicians include Simphiwe Dana (South Africa), Lisa Bauer Quartet (South Africa), Ivan Mazuze (Mozambique/South Africa), Sandra Cordeiro (Angola), Gazelle (South Africa) and Gang Of Instrumentals (South Africa).

The Flames

My favourite addition to the festival is the official reunion of the Durban pop group The Flames, formed in 1963. Steeped in Atlantic soul and the Motown Sound, The Flames were the first non-white local band to hit the Top 20 chart on Springbok radio. See also my previous post on The Flames.

from The Star January  26 2011

The Flames update;The Rutles with Rikki Fataar

a rather curious update on Rikki Fataar, member of The Flames was sent by reader lightningclap who says;  Ricky Fataar was also a member of the TV Beatles parody group “The Rutles”.

Of course, I had to investigate that interesting note and found the following info on the web  and even discovered a single released in 1979 by The Rutles in my collection. See also my previous post on The Flames.
The Rutles with Rikki Fataar in the middle
The Rutles, also known as the Prefab Four,  are a band that are known for their visual and aural pastiches and parodies of The Beatles. Originally created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes as a fictional band to be featured as part of various 1970s television programming, the group evolved into a real band that recorded, toured, and released two UK chart hits.

Initially created for a short sketch in Idle’s UK television comedy series Rutland Weekend Television, The Rutles gained international fame after being the focus of the 1978 mockumentary television film, All You Need Is Cash (often referred to as just The Rutles).

The band that recorded the actual music was slightly different to the band that appeared on camera, as Idle did not take part in the recording process. On the soundtrack release of the music from All You Need Is Cash, The Rutles were officially:

Neil Innes: guitar, keyboards, vocals. Innes sang the John Lennon-inspired songs.

Ollie Halsall: guitar, keyboards, vocals. Halsall sang the Paul McCartney-inspired songs.

Stig O’Hara (styled after George Harrison) — played by Rikki Fataar: guitar, bass, sitar, tabla, vocals. Fataar sang the George Harrison-inspired songs.

John Halsey: percussion, vocals. Halsey sang the Ringo Starr- inspired songs.

Andy Brown: bass

Thanks lightningclap for the update.

The Flames – Soulfire!! South Africa’s soul super group

The Flames -For Your Precious Love 1968

“For Your Precious Love” is a song written by Arthur Brooks, Richard Brooks and Jerry Butler, and performed by Butlers’ group The Impressions in 1958. It was released as a single on Vee-Jay Records and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores and Top 100 charts. The song was ranked as the 327th greatest song of all-time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004.

The 1968 version in South Africa by Durban group, The Flames, reached the top spot on the local charts and has been considered a classic in the country ever since. Here are the lyrics of the song, covered by Otis Redding. The adaption of the song as performed by The Flames can be heard in this post.

For Your Precious Love

For your precious love means more to me

Than any love could ever be

For when I wanted you I was so lonely and so blue

For that’s what love will do

Darling, I’m so surprised,

Oh, when I first realized

That you were fooling me

Darling, they say that our love won’t grow

I just want to tell them that they don’t know

For as long as you, long as you are loving me

Our love will grow wider, deeper than any sea

And all the things in the world, in this whole wide world

Is just that you would say that you’d be my girl

(Wanting you) Wanting you,

(I’m lonely and blue) Whoa, lonely

That’s what love will do

For your precious love means more to me

Than any love could ever be

For when I, I wanted you I was so lonely and so blue

That’s what love will do

 ladies & gentlemen, here are The Flames!!

like most good posts on these pages this story starts with finding a 45 in a dusty garage somewhere in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. That was the beginning. Later on, I unearthed a battered album called ‘Soulfire!!’  that was still playable. But what a sound! And what a history!!

The Flames 1965 Debonair magazine

Soul ballads,  danceable tunes with the odd sitar thrown in the mix, pyschedelic pop with strong vocals by singers Steve Fataar,  Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin; elements that  made me search for the perfect copy of their album ‘Soulfire!!’. Finally, in a warehouse somewhere in Durban (thanks Chris) I found a SEALED MINT copy of this rare gem. Now, that’s what you’ve got friends for!!!

But my search went on…

The Flames 1968 Drum magazine

All members of The Flames were born and raised in Durban, a huge melting pot, the third biggest city of South Africa in the Natal province. The city, along the Indian Ocean,  has the biggest Indian population outside Bombay and together with the Zulu native peoples and white merchants they build beautiful Durban; a harbor, a hub of frantic action and endless urban development. In the 50’s Durban’s coastline was famous for it’s scenic beauty and soon became a coastal resort, attracting many holiday makers and retired permanent residents.

The Flames -If You Think You’re Groovy 1968

‘Soulfire!!’ is without a doubt a masterpiece of South African soul music. From 1964 until 1967  the line-up consisted of  Steve Fataar on guitar, Brother Fataar on bass, Ricky Fataar on drums and vocalist Edries Fredericks on guitar. This was the lineup that produced the first two albums, and more singles. Edries left the Flames after having sung lead on both these albums. He  was briefly replaced by Baby Duval in 1967. The same year  the group was joined by Blondie Chaplin. He can be heard as lead singer on the single ‘For Your Precious Love’ released in 1968.  Together with  Ricky Fataar he became a  full member of the American super group The Beach Boys from 1971 to 1973, during which time the albums ‘So Tough’, ‘Holland’ and ‘In Concert’ were made and released.  Ricky Fataar also did session drumming for other records by individual Beach Boys members.

When The Flames arrived in the United States in 1970 at the invitation of Al Jardine and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, they changed their name to The Flame, since there was competition from reggae  group The Flames and James Brown’s own The Famous Flames. They started writing new material; powerful rockers, ballads, mood pieces  and symphonic masterpieces that got a release on Brother, a local Nashville, Tennessee record label. The album was produced by Carl Wilson and it must be their rarest release ever,  since it was distributed only locally in the beginning. Later on it was released in Uruguay, the Netherlands, the UK and Canada.

The Flame -Brother Fataar, Mike Love, Steve Fataar, Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Dennis Wilson Ricky Fataar, Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin-photograph courtesy of the Lee Dempsey Collection

‘Burning Soul’ and ‘Soulfire!!’ however, remain The Flames best known commercial albums. These have been re-issued many times over the years, mainly in South Africa, although ‘Burning Soul’ was released in Australia as well as in the UK.   Their music still stands the test of time.


Soulfire!! (mono edition)
label & number: Rave RMG 1234
date: April 1968

this article contains excerpts and pics courtesy of The Flames official website by Bas Möllenkramer.

the flames promo pic from compilation 'It's Happening 1967' . Fontana Records SA
the flames promo pic from compilation ‘It’s Happening 1967’ . Fontana Records SA