Monday, April 03, 2017

African Songbird Repressed

Available once more this is Sathima Bea Benjamin's 1976 masterpiece African Songbird. Its been repressed on 180g virgin vinyl in a single hard board cover and printed inner sleeve containing the new essay by Francis Gooding and portrait photograph by Ian Bruce Huntley. This follows numerous requests from customers who were unable to purchase copies of the first gatefold reissue we did in 2013. 

This is shipping now via our bandcamp site here and will be in global independent record stores soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Black Disco's Night Express available now

“One of the labels deserving a big shout out is Matsuli Music.”

Matsuli Music continues its mission of restoring classic out-of-print South African afro-jazz with the release of this landmark album from Pops Mohamed’s Black Disco group. Originally entitled Black Discovery/Night Express, this was changed to avoid censorship.

Part Philly-soul, part Cape Jazz and part bump-jive, the album not only achieved instant acclaim in South Africa’s townships, its appeal tore right through apartheid’s racially defined boundaries. Along with bassist Sipho Gumede, saxophonist Basil ‘Manenberg’ Coetzee, and drummer Peter Morake, Black Disco were exploring a new hybrid sound. This music offered hope in the midst of growing repression. “It was our way of saying we are with you”, recalls band leader Mohamed.

Night Express – part of a series of ‘70s releases, three as Black Disco and two as Movement in the City – lives on as a declaration of musical identity from communities whose jazz histories have hardly been documented yet – the apartheid defined ‘coloured’ townships of Johannesburg’s East Rand.

“The name – Movement in the City - was code for let’s fight the system. It was a very dark time of us, personally and politically, and the two albums we made including Black Teardrops (another title the censors didn’t like) came from that emotional place.”

Increasingly, Mohamed’s searching took him towards his roots. “I figured that protecting and preserving our indigenous music could be my contribution to the struggle. We must know our heritage. I thought: if the Boers take that from us, we’re fucked.”

So Mohamed’s journey, which began as a boyish organ player doodling Timmy Thomas-style riffs on Night Express has now brought him to a role today as a kora master and producer, collaborating with Khoisan traditional healers and their music. But the Black Disco group was, for him, where it all started. 

A1. Yasmeen’s Blues 
A2. Night Express
A3. Super Natural Love 
B1. Oh Happy Day
B2. Echo On The Delay 
B3. Odds On

Pops Mohamed – Organ
Basil Coetzee – Flute, Tenor Sax Sipho Gumede – Bass
Peter Morake – Drums

Originally issued on the independent As-Shams/The Sun label in 1976.

Available at independent record stores and with a digital download code from

 page1image28160 page1image28320 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tete Mbambisa's Inhlupeko now available!

"Another unmissable, scorching Matsuli revive! Tete Mbambisa and co, chasing the mbaqanga in Trane. Five originals and Love for Sale, from Johannesburg, 1969...180g vinyl with excellent sound; photographs from the Ian Bruce Huntley archive and concert bills; extended notes...very warmly recommended." (HONEST JONS)
Available now at all good independent records stores and at the Matsuli Storefront here
Inhlupeko, alongside the other massive jazz hit of the era, Winston Mankunku's Yakhal'Inkomo, sums up the South African jazz sound and mood of the late 1960s, its bluesy inflections heralding a more hard-bop feel of music in the decade to come.  Defiantly modern, and seeking inspiration from the "black heroes" of John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Elvin Jones, Ron Carter, Johnny Hodges and Lockjaw Davis, this album envisioned what a new South Africa might sound like. 

Tete Mbambisa composed four of the six tracks on the album. Of the two others, the title track is the work of tenorman Duku Makasi. The other track is a standard, Love for Sale, also frequently covered by Makasi’s contemporary, the equally important Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi. Pianist Mbambisa’s memories reveal a great deal about the environment in which the progressive black players of the era worked.  The album, recorded at the EMI Studios in Johannesburg – “they had the best sound at that time,” recalls Mbambisa – was the brainchild of two important jazz organisers of the era: Ray Thabakgolo Nkwe in Johannesburg and Monde Sikutshwa in Port Elizabeth (PE).

“Ray and Monde talked about doing an album with Duke and some other Eastern Cape musicians. After a while, they called me up from East London to do the arrangements. People know that’s my gift: from the time I was involved in vocal groups I have had an ear for arranging. Apart from Inhlupeko, Duke’s tune, I selected the tunes. We were all travelling at the time, doing shows, but there were long rehearsals for this material. We’d play, and discuss, and then go off to a shebeen – and carry on discussing the music. A lot of thinking went into it. I’d say probably about a month. I was travelling with the musicians in a kombi – it was supposed to be a jazz tour with Mankunku too, but he had another gig with Chris Schilder (Ibrahim Khalil Shihab) in Rustenburg, so in a way it became a launch for the Inhlupeko material.”

In fact, Mankunku was launching his second album as leader, Spring. Music writers at the time made much of the fact that the title track of that album was ‘stolen’ from the melody of Inhlupeko (and Makasi used to joke with Ngozi about it) but Mbambisa feels that something different was going on. “It was that Trane style. We were all in the same kind of place musically at that time.”  South African jazz players felt a strong affinity with John Coltrane, who had died only a couple of years earlier. The expressive mastery of his playing and the soulful, spiritual searching of his mood served as both revelation and inspiration. It was the search for that Coltrane feel that guided Mbambisa’s final choice of players. 

The acknowledged affinity in creative approach –in the words of trumpeter Johnny Mekoa: “these were our black heroes…and the music sounded a bit like our mbaqanga here” – fed, rather than stifled originality. In the music they created, South Africans always started from what another trumpeter from an earlier era, the late Banzi Bangani, called “that thing that was ours”, not only in musical idioms, but also in history and experience.
As scholar Robin Kelley has noted, both urban Africans and urban Americans were consciously crafting “modern” music – and in South Africa’s case, it was a modernism deliberately and defiantly set in opposition to the narrow, backwards-looking parochialism of apartheid, where some white universities did not even permit gender-mixed dancing until the 1970s. The sophisticated, snappily-dressed black players of South Africa’s cities in the 1960s were not trying to ‘be like’ America; rather, they were enacting in their performance, and reaching through their horns for what a new South Africa might sound like. Coltrane’s searching voice was a natural lodestone, for as Kelley has also observed: “the most powerful map of the New World is in the imagination.”

The studio session that laid down the tracks was far from the original liner note fable of a spontaneous blow over a bottle. As well as the extensive rehearsal that had preceded it, it carried its own stresses. “In those days,” Mbambisa recalls, “they used to tell you all the time how much they were paying for an hour in the studio. So they give you pressure: ‘Come on guys! This is costing me!” However, thanks to that extensive preparation, the pressure wasn’t too much of a problem. Mbambisa has always disliked an overworked feel on his recordings: “that’s why my albums catch that live feel, even from the studio.” That was particularly important for this session. The quality he was looking for was, he says, “connectedness. If you can’t be connected, forget it. So I told them: Hey, guys, let’s try and do these in one take only or we’ll lose the feel.” He says that none of the tracks used more than two takes, and most were completed in one.

But the hurried, penny-pinching recording was also reflected in the way the album was presented. Makasi’s name is inconsistently presented as ‘Duke’ and “Duku’ in different places. Even the title, Inhlupeko, appears in that form (the isiZulu spelling) on the cover and notes, but ‘Intlupheko’ (the isiXhosa form) on the disc label, suggesting a hasty process. The word itself can be translated as ‘distress’, but like many African-language words with their multiple poetic resonances, also as ‘inconvenience’, ‘trouble’, ‘poverty’ and more. For the artists it had all those resonances – to whose more political implications Nkwe would certainly not have wished to draw attention in his translation. The players were not told about the planned cover images, nor, as Mbambisa’s story confirms, were they sent copies of the LP. There was no advertising and no formal launch, and Mbambisa recalls that Sikutshwa also received no communication about the release. The LP was clearly pressed in a fairly small run, for when Mbambisa tried to buy his own copy, he could not immediately find it in any shops.

The image conveyed by the cover also fitted well with other cultural currents of the era. The 1960s and 1970s were dominated by apartheid’s re-tribalisation project: a propaganda push to both the majority population and the world that black South Africans (even those whose families had been city-dwellers for decades) were essentially simple, rural people with no place in the cities and no capacity for sophisticated culture. Official patronage was given to neo-traditional sounds, particularly via the State broadcaster, the SABC, split into narrow, tribally based stations, the purity of whose musical contents must be verified by apartheid ‘experts’. In this context, state censors would certainly smile more kindly on an album whose images placed a syncretic music like jazz in a more disreputable corner.

Matsuli Music is proud to be re-presenting this cornerstone album with restored audio on heavyweight 180g vinyl with accompanying sleeve notes by Gwen Ansell, author of Soweto Blues – Jazz, Popular Music and Politics in South Africa. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Batsumi 1974 debut back in print

The most popular release on the Matsuli Music catalogue has just had a repressing on red translucent vinyl. Just 500 copies so do put your order in if you don't want to be disappointed!

Here's what people had to say at the time of the original release in 2011:
"Great South African jazz record from 1974...sharing common ground with the much-loved spiritual jazz of Strata East, Black Jazz, Don Cherry schools of the 70s." (VINYL FACTORY)

"Remastered from the original's a vibrant, energetic workout in which slinky, repeated riffs are matched against wailing, sometimes psychedelic effects, with saxophone and flute solos added." (THE GUARDIAN)

"This album has remained a hidden gem for nearly 40 years, enjoy it." (SOUL BROTHER RECORDS)

Matsuli is also offering a special double vinyl package of both Batsumi albums for a discounted price of $35 exc. postage (a savings of $15). All details and how to purchase at the MATSULI SHOPFRONT

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Derek Gripper's "Impossible" album One Night on Earth reissued

Matsuli Music presents an album of kora interpretations that astonished John Williams into saying he thought it was “absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it”. When Kora maestro Toumani Diabate heard these recordings he disbelievingly asked his host and producer Lucy Duran to confirm that she had actually seen one guitarist play this music on just one guitar. Recorded at an all-night session Gripper’s guitar magically counjures anew a centuries-old ancient African musical heritage. 

One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali, captures Gripper’s extraordinary six-string interpretation of Toumani Diabate’s 21-string Kora compositions. Gripper’s “guitar has found the Kora-playing spirit, he captures the magic bound up in the way it is played”, says Williams, who has invited Gripper back a second time to collaborate in “The John Williams Series” at the Globe Theatre, London in June 2015. 

For more than ten years Derek Gripper has produced some of South Africa’s most extraordinary musical works, fusing the country’s disparate creative traditions with styles from around the world. His music draws on European classical traditions, avant-garde Brazilian works, Malian kora works, Cape Town’s folk styles such as goema and vastrap, and Indian classical music, all the while synthesising them into a style uniquely his own. 

Tim Panting writing in the Classical Guitar Magazine describes this as “…one of the most atmospheric recordings of guitar music, of any kind, that I have heard.” And in music journalist Richard Haslop’s words “Anybody wondering why one would want to hear a South African guitarist play this music when the incomparable original recordings are available, need only listen to this album.” 

Originally only available on CD, Matsuli Music is proud to be releasing this breakthrough album on heavyweight vinyl in a deluxe limited edition with accompanying sleeve-notes from Derek Gripper.


Recorded by Howard Butcher at Rivendel Church, Knysna
Mixed and Mastered at Peace of Eden Studios, Knysna, South Africa Produced by Derek Gripper for New Cape Records
Cover photo by Simon Attwell and Kim Winter
Reverse photo by Bernard Descamps / Agence VU
Design by Twoshoes Graphic Designers, Cape Town, South Africa Guitar arrangements by Derek Gripper
All compositions by Toumani Diabate. Track A2 Copyright Control. All other tracks published by BMG Rights Management UK.

2015 vinyl edition produced by Matt Temple and Chris Albertyn
at Matsuli Music Limited.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

This blog goes quiet!

Notwithstanding google's ability to get blogger ranked above other pages on searches I've had to make the really easy decision to leave this site as it is and to focus on using Twitter, Facebook, Mixcloud and a newsletter to spread the word about Matsuli Music.

If you have landed here then there is certainly plenty to explore but if you want the real deal then type: into your browser of choice! There's a refreshed website waiting for you there.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Batsumi Repressed!

I'm very pleased to announce that due to on-going requests for vinyl copies of the Batsumi album - and seeing the cost of the original Matsuli reissue from 2011 go beyond the reasonable at eBay, Discogs and elsewhere - I have repressed this at a special price on clear vinyl. A small number (75) are available for direct purchase from me via the sidebar link on this site. Direct purchases include a free download in digital format of your choice. Shipping starts this week! Copies should filter through to your favourite independent record store via Honest Jons. The CD version that includes two tracks from their second album Moving Along is still available to order via Nature Bliss. A limited dispatch will also wind their way to South Africa to be stocked at Record Mad in Johannesburg and I hope at Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sathima Bea Benjamin: "I have so many nations in me"

“Hi Rashid, is it true?”, “Yes Matt she is on the other side.” With what feels like a physical blow to the body I try to make sense of it all. Barely a month earlier I was in Cape Town for what was to be Sathima’s swan song: a live performance at Tagore’s in Observatory celebrating the reissue of her 1976 masterpiece African Songbird that I’d just reissued on my label. Although suffering from flu Sathima commanded the room with the voice of an angel. The electric atmosphere and crowded space only enhanced the palpable sense of being in the presence of greatness.

As we mark Sathima’s birthday today I’m still trying to make sense of it all. Her long struggle to be heard, never playing on her African roots and resolutely uncommercial with a complete commitment to classic jazz idioms. And a big shadow cast by her partner Abdullah Ibrahim, the challenges of motherhood exacerbated by exile and an uneasy homecoming from the Chelsea Hotel in New York where she said she felt most at home.

Sathima had the unique ability to strike first at your heart, not unlike the experience of hearing Billie Holiday for the first time. She cites hearing Billie’s performance in Lady Sings the Blues as being pivotal to her development as a singer. And Sathima’s original compositions like Africa and Nations in Me eschew the commonly prescribed categories of race and nationhood propagated by Apartheid. It’s a powerful combination.

Her final performance at Tagore’s was highly anticipated and packed shoulder-to-shoulder. Some initial microphone issues before Sathima took to the stage, backed by the Hilton Schilder Trio, to perform one more time her classic songbook tunes, laments and the anthem Africa. “I’ve been gone much too long/and I’m glad to say that I’m home, I’m home to stay…” I was so happy for her despite the knowledge that perhaps this might all be too late. We spoke late into the evening at the Labia Cinema on Sunday and at the Mahogany Room on Tuesday about taking this forward.

Too late, and now she’s on the other side. And that’s our lament: that home is still the other side.

Bea Benjamin
Photo Credit: Gregory Franz.

First published at Africa is a Country

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Coming soon! "Keeping Time: 1964-1974 The Photographs and Cape Town Jazz Recordings of Ian Bruce Huntley"

This book celebrates the public emergence of an extraordinary visual and audio archive that was initiated by Ian Bruce Huntley in Cape Town fifty years ago. Electric Jive is very happy to announce that a limited edition print run of 500 copies is now at the printers. The book is expected to be available towards the end of November.

Covering the period 1964 - 1974, the Ian Bruce Huntley archive opens a window to a little known era of South African music history, documenting an ‘underground’ jazz scene that persisted in creative defiance of all that grand apartheid threw at it. In addition to 120 historical images, 56 hours of live recordings from many of the photographed performances are indexed in this book and will become available for free download through Electric Jive.

This previously hidden archive documents accomplished South African jazz musicians pushing the creative envelope and entertaining appreciative audiences. In his accompanying essay Jonathan Eato argues that Ian Bruce Huntley’s photos and recordings document an extension of the Drum decade lineage right through to the 1970s.

Many of the musicians Huntley worked with have passed on, and a large number were never afforded the opportunity to record (whilst others remain woefully under-documented). Combined with the loss to exile of yet more key people in the history of jazz in South Africa and the general inaccessibility of records that do exist, this conflation of events and circumstances has left a big dent in our historical understanding and resources. For those students, musicians, scholars, and devotees of South African music who wish to engage with the achievements of a generation of South African jazz musicians the newly found accessibility of the Ian Huntley archive goes a small but invaluable way towards maintaining memory and articulating lost stories

Published by Chris Albertyn and Associates in partnership with Electric Jive, the book is edited by Chris Albertyn. In addition to a biographical sketch of Ian Huntley, the book offers a substantial essay by Jonathan Eato, a full discography of all the recordings, and an index. Electric Jive's Siemon Allen is responsible for the design and layout, while Cedric Nunn has painstakingly spent many many hours restoring the  professionally scanned digitized images. More details will be made available in the coming months.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Free as an African Songbird - RIP Sathima Bea Benjamin

When I received the news yesterday of Sathima's passing I did not believe it. We had no idea that the events organised to celebrate her would become her swansong. Peace go with you sister.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Matsuli runs the voodoo down at the Mahogany Lounge

One more time! The DJ set I played at Future Nostalgia to celebrate Sathima Bea Benjamin's African Songbird reissue.

Rapidshare / Mixcloud

Monday, August 05, 2013

Sathima live in Cape Town!

Sathima at Tagores

Pure emotion is how Sathima Bea Benjamin is often described. In Cape Town at the launch events for the African Songbird album this was reinforced over and over again. On the first night – despite having a cold – Sathima took charge of Tagores and led us on a special journey to her heart. Thanks to the good folks at Chimurenga I am very happy to share with you an audio recording of that performance.
Sathima at the Labia
Come Sunday night we were not sure if she was going to make it to the Sathima’s Windsong screening. But again we were not disappointed with her presence and patience answering questions and signing albums into the night. At the final Vinyl Session at Mahogany’s on Tuesday night Sathima was once again with us until midnight.
Chris Albertyn, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Matt Temple
A heartfelt thanks to all those that made the launch events a big success and a very special thanks to Sathima whose songs and presence continue to make all richer. (Special thanks to Greg Franz for the photographs)

Sathima Live at Tagores: Rapidshare here / Zippyshare here

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cape Town Calling!

Here we the Mother City for the South African launch of Sathima Bea Benjamin's African Songbird.I hope to see you there! An events page is on Facebook here: SATHIMA CAPE TOWN

And to celebrate I am proud to bring you a mixtape of classics from Rashid Vally's As-shams label.
Rashid Vally with Gallo engineer Peter Ceronio during one of the many sessions for the As-shams (Sun) label

UNDERGROUND IN AFRICADeep spiritual jazz produced under the heat of Apartheid by As-shams label owner Rashid Vally

1. All Day and All Night Long - Abdullah Ibrahim

2. Mannenberg Is Where It's Happening (Cape Town Fringe) - Abdullah Ibrahim
3. Tshona - Pat Matshikiza And Kippie Moketsi

4. Africa - Sathima Bea Benjamin

5. African Herbs - Abdullah Ibrahim

6. Unity - Tete Mbambisa

7. WD 46 Mendi Road - Dick Khoza

8. Harari - The Beaters

9. Lament - Movement in the City

10. Deeper in Black - Lionel Pillay

11. Cherry - Basil Coetzee and Lionel Pillay

12. Night express - Black Disco

13. Spiritual Feel Riding the Blue - Black Disco

14. Past time - Tete Mbambisa, Basil Coetzee, Zulu Bidi & Monty Webber

15. Shrimp boats - Basil Coetzee

Selection by Matt Temple, MatsuliMusic, 2013

Enjoy via Rapidshare or Mixcloud

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sathima Bea Benjamin’s Spiritual Jazz Masterpiece Reissued

"Reissue of the year so far?? Pure fire. Astounding music...." - Chris Menist

"A pure masterpiece" - Guillaume Heintzmann, Alter K

"Beautiful reissue of killer spiritual South African Jazz LP" - Superfly Records

"Beautiful deep vocal jazz side feat Dollar Brand lavishly and lovingly reissued by the sainted Matsuli label." - Kristina Records

"One of the coolest albums ever from vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin" - Dusty Groove

"The opener is a first-round knockout: moody and hurting, soaring and visionary, with Dollar Brand threading electric keys through the free-fall, doubled-up, deep-funk drums and bass. Then some delicate Cape Town swing, featuring Basil 'Manenberg' Coetzee on flute; and finally Sathima herself, alone at land's end, like a bird. Originally released in 1976 on Rashid Vally's As-shams label this is a profound, ravishing, spiritual-jazz masterpiece from South Africa - a long overdue revive, prefectly realized" - Honest Jons

"The Sathima Bea Benjamin 'African Songbird' reissue on Matsuli Music is deep & moody spiritual jazz at its finest." - Tumbleweed blog

Finally the day has come after more than five years in preparation for me to announce that African Songbird is now available to purchase for the first time in more than 37 years.....thanks to all that made the London launch party and I look forward to the Cape Town launch in early July. The fight against forgetting continues...

To purchase:
180gsm deluxe gatefold vinyl edition with download code (limited to 1000 hand numbered copies). Compact disc six panel digipac edition (limited to 500 copies) Honest Jons who will be stocking independent stores worldwide
Digital downloads in multiple formats (MP3, FLAC, OGG, ORBIS, AAC) from Matsuli Music direct as well as via the big stores (Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)

Media release:
Matsuli Music is proud is announce the re-issue of African Songbird, the spiritual jazz masterpiece from South Africa’s greatest jazz singer, Sathima Bea Benjamin. Originally released in 1976, African Songbird was a debut long overdue. A 1959 recording, which would have been one of South Africa’s first ever jazz LPs, was shelved. Her 1963 recording with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn was put aside by Reprise’s then head of A&R, Frank Sinatra, for not being commercial enough.

African Songbird is a tour-de-force, and arguably the most dramatic and powerful release on Rashid Vally’s As-shams label. The opener, ‘Africa’, is the album’s fulcrum, a statement of breath-taking musical, personal and political complexity. It is a song of exile, of loss, and of return: a song that is both personal and universal, speaking for a people made homeless in their own land, speaking to those whose ambivalent embrace of exile ached for a homecoming. It speaks too of hope and resolution.  

Africa is a personally powerful declaration from a remarkable African woman: a song of deferred self and dislocated space finally resolved in an emotional homecoming.  It is a song of celebration and mourning – a heartfelt paean to her home that is shot through with the raw sorrow of lament.

Sathima’s voice, wholly unique in jazz singing, gradually sheds its musical supports as the programme develops. From the thickly-layered tumult of Africa, through the characteristic Cape Town swing that informs Music, the instrumentation is quietly reduced, then finally dispensed with. The title track is performed acapella, but for the natural sounds of the sea coast, the gulls and surf of the Cape itself. After many years of silence, two deferred albums, and over a decade of rootless exile from a home that had been made inhospitable by the inhumanity of apartheid, Sathima’s voice is finally heard, alone with her song, naturally, like a bird.

Sathima’s career has been challenged throughout by a struggle to be heard. Her repertoire was resolutely uncommercial. She never played on her African roots to gain acceptance internationally, and her complete commitment to classic jazz idioms never wavered: as an African artist, this made it difficult for audiences, critics and record companies to understand the nature of her talent. The unique genius and global success of her husband Abdullah Ibrahim (previously known as Dollar Brand) cast its own shadow, and as the mother of two children, music could not always be her first priority. These challenges were exacerbated by the pressures of political exile, and for Sathima, due recognition was late to arrive.

In recent years Sathima Bea Benjamin’s extraordinary life and unique work have received the critical attention and acclaim they richly deserve. Despite this, African Songbird, her first released record, has remained unavailable and largely unknown. This reissue remedies that situation in restoring and making available again an important keystone in South Africa’s jazz heritage.

Sathima Bea Benjamin currently lives in Cape Town. She continues to perform the material that she first recorded for this disc. In association with Rashid Vally and Sathima Bea Benjamin, Matsuli is proud to present this album in its original form, making it available again for the first time since initial release. A crucial piece of South African and global jazz history, African Songbird is courageous, revelatory music, and Sathima’s unique voice is the bearer of its message. It’s easy to see why Ellington was convinced.      

Previews here:

Press kit (with images):

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

African Songbird Album London Launch Party – 25 May 2013

Join us to celebrate the reissue of a lost South African jazz masterpiece – Sathima Bea Benjamin’s African Songbird – by Matsuli Music. Featuring live afro-jazz performances from Eugene Skeef and Adam Glasser together with eclectic sounds from Matsuli friends Sean Roe and Johnny Bee. Chased down with some vinyl classics from label boss Matt Temple.

Venue: Muxima Café, 111-121 Fairfield Road, Bow, London, E3 2QF
Time: 9pm – late

Eugene Skeef FRSA is a South African percussionist, composer, poet, educationalist and animator living in London since 1980. Eugene’s roots are firmly established in his cultural work with Steve Biko, the late South African civil rights leader. As a young activist he co-led a nation-wide literacy campaign teaching in schools, colleges and communities across apartheid South Africa.

Adam Glasser is an award-winning Jazz harmonica and keyboard player who grew up in South Africa and is currently London-based. Adam has played with a wide variety of artists including the Manhattan Brothers and Dudu Pukwana. Adam won the 2010 SAMA Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His current album Mzansi has been nominated Best Jazz Album at the 2012 SAMA Awards.

Sseeaann Rrooee is a multimedia artist and musician who has exhibited and performed in the UK, Europe and Japan. Sseeann performs with records on stylus free turntables using amplified paper to carry the sound from the grooves of the record to the speakers, creating an intimate and improvised sound collage.

Johnny Bee’s guitar songs trace love, death and desire in a line from the tops of Manhattans towers to the swamps of Louisiana via the byways of North London.

Matt Temple runs the Matsuli Music record label, dedicated to reissuing lost South African jazz recordings. Matt has been promoting indigenous afro jazz sounds since the early 1980s, producing concerts for, amongst others, Amampondo, Malombo Jazz, Steve Dyer, OLM, Thomas Mapfumo and Sipho Mabuse.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

African Songbird is on its way!

On 1 June 2013 Matsuli Music will reissue Sathima Bea Benjamin's 1976 spiritual jazz masterpiece African Songbird. This promotional teaser contains footage from the incredible documentary Sathima's Windsong, directed by Dan Yon, check: South Atlantic Productions for more details.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

MM103 First Chance to Listen

Monday, February 25, 2013

MM103 In Production: Sathima Bea Benjamin's African Songbird

Bea Benjamin at the Space Theatre, Long Street, Cape Town in 1974 (Photograph copyright Ian Bruce Huntley) 
I am very happy to announce that production has started on Sathima Bea Benjamin's 1976 masterpiece African Songbird. The original stereo masters (the 1976 edition on As-shams/The Sun were mixed down to Mono) are in audio restoration, the artwork for the cover has been restored and liner notes for the reissue are being finalised. Anticipated release date will be 1 June with a limited vinyl and compact disc editions as well as WAV/FLAC/MP3 options.

A small number of pre-orders will be accepted directly from this site and global distribution will follow to independent record stores worldwide. Details to follow.