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Sunday 22 March 2009

Stompie on Sunday

To provide a bridge between the Tsonga disco yesterday and Mpharanyana tomorrow I thought I would post some South African jazz.

Jazz has been very popular among the black and Cape Coloured population of South Africa since at least the 1950s, with many of its performers gaining an international reputation - Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim being the most prominent.

Normally I have no time for jazz at all, and a lot of the stuff produced by South African musicians is the usual self-indulgent noodling I can't stand. But when they mix it up with traditional tunes and chants it becomes something very appealing on mellow days like Sundays.

Until his death last year Stompie Mavi was one of the big name jazz and traditional Xhosa vocalists domestically. He was first noticed in the early 1970s with his hit songs, Mother Africa and Umbongo. In 1987 he was attacked and stabbed in the back. The incident left him disabled and reliant on crutches, and occasionally confined him to a wheelchair.

Today's selection is "Bayombela", from his 2002 album "Ithongo":

And here is a clip of him performing the slightly more traditional sounding "Ulele" (warning, it stops rather suddenly):

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