body{ text-shadow: 0px 0px 4px rgba(150, 150, 150, 1); }

Friday, 13 January 2017

Batsumi “Batsumi” 1974 mega rare first Lp a Spiritualised afro-jazz masterpiece + “Moving Along” 1976 release 2014 second album South Africa Spiritual Jazz Afrobeat Fusion,Afro jazz,.both albums are highly.. recommended..!


Batsumi “Batsumi” 1974 mega rare first Lp a  Spiritualised afro-jazz masterpiece + “Moving Along” 1976 release 2014 second album  South Africa  Spiritual Jazz Afrobeat Fusion,Afro jazz,.both albums are highly.. recommended..!

full two albums vk
Batsumi 1974 full bandcamp
"Moving Along" full bandcamp
Batsumi “Batsumi” 1974 
Matsuli Music continues its reissue program of rare indigenous afro-jazz sounds from South Africa with the release of Sowetan group Batsumi's self-titled debut from 1974. The reissue has been lovingly re-mastered from the original tapes and features material compiled on the recent Next Stop Soweto series from Strut. 
The album arrived amidst a period of intense political, intellectual and artistic ferment stimulated in large part by the teachings of Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement. ‘“Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud”. This is fast becoming our modern culture,’ wrote Biko in 1971, ‘a culture of defiance, self assertion and group pride and solidarity.’ Drawing partly on the insights of Frantz Fanon and the poets of Négritude, and partly on the contemporary US Black Power politics of figures such as Eldridge Cleaver and Stokely Carmichael, Biko forged a visionary and potent message of South African redemption, pride and defiance. It took culture to its heart, and in the wake of Biko’s message a burgeoning arts scene rooted in the black and African experience began to flourish. 
Batsumi is a masterpiece of spiritualised afro-jazz, and a prodigious singularity in the South African jazz canon. There is nothing else on record from the period that has the deep, resonant urgency of the Batsumi sound, a reverb-drenched, formidably focused pulse, underpinned by the tight-locked interplay of traditional and trap drums, and pushed on by the throb of Zulu Bidi’s mesmeric bass figures. The warm notes of Johnny Mothopeng’s guitar complete a soundscape that is at once closely packed with sonic texture and simultaneously vibrating with open space, and in whose shimmer and haze Themba Koyana and Tom Masemola soar. A sonorous echo emanating from an ancient well, reverberant with jazz ghosts and warmed by the heat of soul and pop, Batsumi is nothing short of revelatory. 
Many groups from this period did not issue recordings at all, and Batsumi are unusual in even having left an official recorded legacy. Out of print since the 1970s, and never issued outside of South African in its entirety, Batsumi is a landmark South African jazz recording, and a key musical document of its time. Out of sight for far too long, Matsuli Music is proud to be able to bring this back into view, and award it the prominence it so richly deserves. .....~ 
The perfect state to listen to “Lishonile” could be the one between asleep and awake, maybe sitting in the train heading home from work or alone at home in the dark too tired to sleep. Let yourself hand over to this 11 minutes long, meandering stream of (un-) consciousness. The spiritual jazz by the South African band Batsumi was first recorded in 1974 and was lost for decades until Matsuli Music reissued their debut album in 2013. The first pressing of 500 copies quickly sold out but the second from 2015 is still available on their Bandcamp page. The multifaceted album is full of surprises, so please don’t judge their music only by the track I chose. I can’t identify the horn-like instrument at the beginning of the track but it keeps blowing my mind – even after repeated listening. The Guardian knows that Batsumi were “led by a blind guitarist, Johnny Mothopeng, along with his keyboard-playing brother Lancelot and bassist Zulu Bidi.” Matsuli Music also reissued their second album Moving Along in 2014. Another great lengthy track of their debut, Itumeleng, can also be found on Strut Records’ compilation Next Stop… Soweto Vol. 3: Giants, Ministers And Makers: Jazz In South Africa 1963-1978....~ 


Batsumi “Batsumi” 1974 

During the brutal era in South African history known as Apartheid, the minority-white ruling party forcibly moved millions of black South Africans from their homes to segregated areas, stripping them of their citizenship and reassigning them to tribal Bantu status. But even in the face of this outrageous oppression, South African music thrived. Artists like pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand), and multi-instrumentalist Hugh Masekela gained fame both within the country and beyond. But Ibrahim and Masekela were the exceptions, rather than the rule. Because they both lived and toured abroad, it was easier for their music to get attention. For local South African musicians, operating under the threat of state violence, breaking through to European and American audiences was much harder.
From this difficult environment came the self-titled debut from Soweto band Batsumi, one of the region’s most unusual and lush jazz albums. First reissued by UK/South African label Matsuli in 2011, and recently re-pressed on clear vinyl, Batsumi sits alongside the Asiko Rock Group’s album and Mor Thiam’s Drums of Fire as true crate-digger classics—exceptionally rare albums that far exceed the hype generated by their scarcity. Batsumi was inspired by the Black Consciousness Movement of the late 1960s, which was led by anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko, whose writings and famous slogan “Black is Beautiful” sought to empower black South Africans. The movement was an assertion of pride, and Batsumi’s raw, indigenous jazz is filled with the same sense of serene self-love that Biko preached.By the early 1970s, the two major anti-Apartheid parties—the Pan Africanist Congress and the African National Congress—had been outlawed by the ruling National Party, and were operating underground. Batsumi leader and guitarist Johnny Mothopeng’s father had been the president of the Pan Africanist Congress and was subsequently imprisoned. The younger Mothopeng saw Black Consciousness as a way to “keep the fires burning.” That heat and resilience can be heard throughout Batsumi.
Batsumi was released in 1974 on the Records & Tapes imprint, a subsidiary of Satbel. Yet in an all-too-familiar pattern, Records & Tapes—a white-owned company—paid the band next-to-nothing, and barely promoted the album. Still, Batsumi was incredibly popular on tour, and for years played to large crowds at festivals and stadiums across South Africa. Batsumi doesn’t sound like afro-spiritual jazz in the vein of Alice Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders. Instead, it’s more beguiling and weightless; its five tracks flow seamlessly—blending flutes, saxophones, winding bass and soulful vocals into a gorgeous suite of nuanced melody. Most of the band couldn’t read or write sheet music, and learned to play by ear instead. Their saxophone player, Themba Koyana, listened to jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker until he sounded just like him. Throughout the album, the band sounds equally relaxed and intense, as if they knew their music meant a great deal to the community it served. On “Lishonile” and “Anishilabi,” in particular, Batsumi is both free and electrifying.
According to Mothopeng, the studio sessions were brisk, moving quickly from one track to the next. The band rehearsed and memorized the core melodies of each song, then stretched them out and let them wander during the recording sessions. On the album’s longest tracks, “Lishonile” and “Itumeleng,” the group launches into propulsive blasts before settling into expansive grooves, allowing the wind instruments to hover around the bass and drums before vocal chants arise. “Emampondweni” and “Mamshanyana” are loose and floral, recalling some of the more swinging sides of the Canterbury scene and Sly Stone’s freewheeling cuts on his Stone Flower label. The final track—the radiant “Anishilabi”—feels especially remarkable: a joyous clarion call of courage.
Perhaps the most unique element of Batsumi is the way it blends jazz and South African indigenous folk music. The vocals are in Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and Shangaan, and the lyrics cover a broad range of topics: heroes (“Moshanyana”), ancestry (“Empondoweni”), and providing for one’s family (“Itumeleng”). Unlike their contemporaries Dashiki Poets—who also made indigenous jazz, but wrote more explicitly political lyrics—Batsumi are less didactic. Their music is still political, but it uses poetry and grace to achieve its rhetorical goals rather than anthem and slogan. For Mothopeng and the other members, singing unapologetically in native languages while fusing indigenous folk music and jazz was inherently political, a musical confirmation of dignity. Twenty years after the fall of Apartheid, Batsumi remains sublime and transformative, and its resonance hasn’t faded at all over the years.  Neil Fauerso...~

Recorded in 1974 in Soweto, this is an intriguing, rousing reminder of the inventive styles that flourished in apartheid-era South Africa, but never came to the notice of the outside world. Batsumi were an Afro-jazz outfit led by a blind guitarist, Johnny Mothopeng, along with his keyboard-playing brother Lancelot and bassist Zulu Bidi. They worked in the sprawling Johannesburg township in the early 70s, and their debut album has been unobtainable for decades. Remastered from the original tapes, and best played very loud, it’s a vibrant, energetic workout in which slinky, repeated riffs are matched against wailing, sometimes psychedelic effects, with saxophone and flute solos added. There are five lengthy tracks here, and they range from the opening Lishonile, in which hypnotic, repeated phrases and solos give way after nine minutes to equally furious chanting, and the cool Anishilabi, in which a classy keyboard workout and bass solo ease into a cool, loping riff. An obscure African recording, maybe, but this is still great dance music…..The Guardian…review…~

Stunning mix of Jazz, Fusion and Afrobeat though trying to put them in any sort of order would be an exercise in futility. It continually squirms out of any pigeonhole you may try to put it in.So you’ve got yer jazzy and funky double bass grooves, funky drums, what sounds like a rather cheap but expertly played percussive acoustic rhythm guitar, sax section, flute section, organ, occasional tribal drums / percussion and vocals………. and with that little lot ….all merry hell breaks loose. Often - no usually - in completely unexpected ways. It bursts with the joyous sound you only get when great musicians make music purely for the sake of making music…..~


Almost as if it was unexplored territory, the extraordinary landscape of South African jazz is frequently mapped out by reference to a few well known landmarks: the glorious township swing and hot jive of the 1950s; the fame and misfortune of the modern jazz exiles of the 1960s, and their energising presence in Europe; the towering trans-national figures of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim. For the jazz music and musicians of South Africa that did not by chance or choice fall into one of these categories, the long silence of history has only intermittently been broken, and the legacy of past iniquities has served to consign many names on South Africa’s long roster of jazz giants to an undeserved obscurity. A wealth of music does not yet appear on the map, but when the contours of the jazz scene under apartheid begin to be surveyed in more detail, it is clear that a space must be marked out for the Soweto-based group Batsumi. 
Formed in 1972 by bassist Zulu Bidi and pianist Lancelot Sello Mothopeng, and led by the blind guitarist Johnny Masweswe Mothopeng, Batsumi issued just two full length LPs, 1974’s self-titled Batsumi, and the 1976 follow-up Moving Along. Though the line-ups differed slightly between the two releases, the core of the group was constant, and was comprised of Bidi and the two Mothopeng brothers, Thomas Thabang Masemola on flute and traditional drums, Themba Koyana on tenor sax, Abel Lekgabe Maleka on drums, and Buta-Buta Zwane on bongos. 
Though details are scarce, some members of the group were certainly established musicians well before Batsumi hit the scene. Zulu Bidi had been a member of The Klooks, a Soweto sextet who cut two sides of driving, organ-lead jazz for Rashid Vally’s independent Soultown label and enjoyed some success on the jazz festival circuit in the late 1960s. Abel Maleka had served as a regular drummer for the great pianist, composer and broadcaster Gideon Nxumalo throughout the 1960s, and was also part of a late 1950s group that had featured both Nxumalo and Malombo founder Philip Tabane. Flautist Thomas Thabang Masemola had played in a variety of Johannesburg jazz bands, including the Jazz Zionists and the Jazz Clan, and graced the show band of the successful 1972 Phiri musical under the direction of Mackay Davashe. And around the time Batsumi itself was in motion, tenorist Themba Koyana, who had taken up baritone duties in the Phiri band, was playing regularly to packed crowds at Lucky Michaels’ famous Pelican jazz club, where he would appear alongside figures such as Allen Kwela and Dick Khoza – a 1973 article in Drum magazine profiling the celebrated Soweto nightspot describes the deafening applause that began as soon as Koyana stepped forward to take a solo. In 1974 these musicians and their colleagues stepped into the Audio Arts recording studio to record one of the great South African LPs of the decade. 
Batsumi (R&T, 1974) is a masterpiece of spiritualised afro-jazz, and a prodigious singularity in the South African jazz canon. There is nothing else on record from the period that has the deep, resonant urgency of the Batsumi sound, a reverb-drenched, formidably focused pulse, underpinned by the tight-locked interplay of traditional and trap drums, and pushed on by the throb of Bidi’s mesmeric bass figures. The warm notes of Johnny Mothopeng’s guitar complete a soundscape that is at once closely packed with sonic texture and simultaneously vibrating with open space, and in whose shimmer and haze Koyana and Masemola soar. A sonorous echo emanating from an ancient well, reverberant with jazz ghosts and warmed by the heat of soul and pop, Batsumi is nothing short of revelatory. 
The development of this powerfully original indigenous afro jazz sound had been set in train over a decade earlier by the Malombo Jazz Men of guitarist Philip Tabane, drummer Julian Bahula and flutist Abe Cindi. The Malombo sound was wholly original, and marked a dramatic departure from prevailing trends in South African jazz. A stripped back trio of flute, guitar and drums, it was separated from the jazz crowd by a pioneering twist: Bahula’s kit was composed of the upright, mallet-struck wooden drums of the Venda spiritual tradition. In a field dominated by groups who had chosen the American modernist jazz language of Monk and Parker to convey their message, this was a bold and symbolically loaded innovation, and it brought them instant success on their debut in 1964. Despite this, the group soon fractured into two different outfits, Bahula and Cindi forming the Malombo Jazz Makers, Tabane joining with drummer Gabriel Thobejane in Malombo. 
Batsumi did not cleave to the almost ascetically sparse instrumentation of the Malombo-style groups, nor were they new messengers of a specific tradition. Instead they presented their vision of modern afro-jazz within a wider instrumental setting, allowing its African roots to spread out and find new spaces. The influence of the Malombo sound is present, carried within the drums and flute of Thabang Masemola, but it is padded, supported and borne aloft by the other instruments in the warm currents that characterise the unique Batsumi musical synthesis. 
The group’s debut album arrived amidst a period of intense political, intellectual and artistic ferment stimulated in large part by the teachings of Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement. ‘“Say it loud! I’m black and I’m proud”. This is fast becoming our modern culture,’ wrote Biko in 1971, ‘a culture of defiance, self assertion and group pride and solidarity.’ Drawing partly on the insights of Frantz Fanon and the poets of Négritude, and partly on the contemporary US Black Power politics of figures such as Eldridge Cleaver and Stokely Carmichael, Biko forged a visionary and potent message of South African redemption, pride and defiance. It took culture to its heart, and in the wake of Biko’s messagea burgeoning arts scene rooted in the black and African experience began to flourish. 
The Batsumi sessions were completed on a limited budget at Audio Arts, a facility normally used for recording advertising jingles. The newly established Record and Tape Company (R&T) agreed to issue the album. A subsidiary of Satbel, R&T and associated record labels King, Soweto and Joburg sought to exploit indigenous black music and market it aggressively into the increasingly affluent and articulate urban black populations of the major metropoles of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. To fit with R&T’s marketing plan and to conform with Apartheid radio-play restrictions the band were obliged to classify the songs on the cover according to language used. Stories of a seSotho hero (‘Moshanyana’), the ancestral home of the Pondo people (‘Empondoweni’), the setting of the sun on the rural past (‘Lishonile’), joy and pride (‘Itumeleng’) and other themes inform the lyrics. The cover features an original painting by bassist Zulu Bidi. 
By 1977 the briefly outspoken theatre groups, bands and poets of Black Consciousness faced a new wave of official interference and surveillance, and many bright stars from another generation of artists and musicians were driven underground or into exile; as David Coplan has written, bands such as Dashiki and Batsumi, who had briefly made their mark at festivals, small clubs and theatres, ‘vanished under repression’s waves.’ 
Many groups from this period did not issue recordings at all, and Batsumi are unusual in even having left an official recorded legacy. Out of print since the 1970s, and never issued outside of South African in its entirety, Batsumi is a landmark South African jazz recording, and a key musical document of its time. Out of sight for far too long, Matsuli Music is proud to be able to bring this back into view, and award it the prominence it so richly deserves.....~ 


"From their inception in 1972 Batsumi were in search for new indigenous sounds and in 1974 they cut their first disc BATSUMI, popularly called BATSUMI SOUND by their fans. 
MOVING ALONG consists mainly of familiar SOUNDS to prepare the many fans for BATSUMI's third Album which will revel in rapturous indigenous sounds BATSUMI caught in their quest. All the songs in this Album are composed and arranged jointly by the Group. 
Buta-Buta is the main vocalist, blind Minesh Sibiya plays bongos and sings Toi-Toi. Abel Maleka, who is the leader of the group, is the percussionist and plays drums. John-Maswaswe Mothopeng, the blind pianist, also plays acoustic guitar. All these are founder members who for the last four years have been engaged in hunting for new sounds. 
Also featured in this Album as session men are the three former Batsumi members, Zulu Bidi, Temba Koyana and Sello Mothopeng, and two other musicians Peter Segona, a trumpeter and Sipho Mabuse, a flutist." ...~

Batsumi “Batsumi” 1974 

Credits 

Double Bass, Design, Artwork – Zulu Bidi 
Drums – Lekgabe Maleka 
Flute, Jew’s Harp – Thabang Masemola 
Organ – Sello Mothopeng 
Tenor Saxophone – Themba Koyana 
Vocals, Bongos – Buta Buta Zwane 
Vocals, Guitar – Maswaswe Mothopeng 

Tracklist 

A1 Lishonile 11:20 
A2 Emampondweni 5:05 
A3 Mamshanyana 4:40 
B1 Itmuleng 16:00 
B2 Anishilabi 3:25 









Batsumi ‎ "Moving Along" 1976 2014

Sometimes a vinyl LP arrives in the mail and what an amazing good surprise it is! This week we happened to receive the latest reissue LP from Matt Temple at UK label Matsuli Music, heavy 180g vinyl, thick, non-plastified sleeve, photography and in-depth liner notes, a bonus CDR version of the album… Before having heard a single note of music we already know this is high quality stuff, fully respectful of music lovers who agree that vinyl is good for you. Batsumi is one of the holy grails of South African spiritual jazz. In 2011, Matsuli Music reissued their first, self-titled album from 1974. Sorry, haven't heard it but all reviews were laudatory. So the excitement generated by this second album from 1976 landing at our doorstep was high, and we were right about it: you will need this record in your shopping list. Out of print since its original release in the 1970s, 'Moving Along' has been lovingly restored from the original master-tapes. Lasting just a bit less than 30 minutes, this one you'll play over and over. Recorded during apartheid and banned at the time, this lost album of Sowetan afro-jazz rightfully deserves praise and (re-)discovery!...~ 

Batsumi ‎ "Moving Along" 1976 2014

KILLER deep deep DEEP spiritual afro-jazz album from Batusmi! 
Matsuli follow up their Batsumi self-titled LP and Sathima Bea Benjamin re-issues with the release of the second and final part in the Sowetan afro-jazz group Batsumi's untold story! Produced in an intensely political period in early seventies South Africa - out of print since 1976!  ...~ 
Originally released in 1976, Moving Along was the second and final release from the Sowetan afro-jazz group, Batsumi. Their first album was set for a release on Stax Records but that unfortunately never came to fruition....~

Batsumi ‎ "Moving Along" 1976 2014

Matsuli Music are slowly setting out their stall as a reissue label worth their weight in gold. Matt Temple and Chris Albertyn put out the label’s 4th release in June this year which was made possible by the solid foundations laid down by previous projects. 
The latest release is the second studio LP from South African spiritual jazz maestros Batsumi, who’s debut marked the birth of Matsuli Music as a label back in 2011. An album that still to this day grows from strength to strength, their self titled debut was light years ahead of its time and news of more material being unearthed was, and still is, huge. 
Originally recorded in 1976, ‘Moving Along’ sees the group upping not only the tempo also the impeccable standards. A more immediate sense of gratification is perhaps down to the positive and infectious nature of this, their follow up LP. There is a video to accompany the release below which explains the context of the release and the struggles the band experienced at the time. The clip includes snippets of some fantastic footage seemingly shot in the 90’s of the band playing together crammed into a kitchen, as well as some additional basic information about the release. 
Moving Along was released in June this year via the increasingly impressive Matsuli Music....~
"Precious SA freedom sounds -- intensely spiritual and engaged -- crossed by bebop, rooted in Malombo Jazz, animated by Biko. From 1976, on the cusp of intensifying apartheid repression, and radio silence."...~ 



Batsumi ‎ "Moving Along" 1976 2014

Tracklist 
A1 Moving Along
A2 Evil Spirits
B1 Toi Toi
B2 Sister 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

volume

volume

Fuzz

Fuzz

Analogue

Analogue

Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck

Akai

Akai

vinyl

vinyl

Music

Music

sound

sound

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice

Vinyl

Vinyl

music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

vinyl

vinyl