Thursday, 9 February 2012


A bit of a treat for all of you today - six of the best from the late, great South African saxophonist and composer, Dudu Pukwana. He started in the 1950s with The Blue Notes, a mixed race band that had to leave South Africa for London in the early 1960s because of the apartheid regime. They split in the late 1960s but kept performing together in various configurations until Dudu and Chris McGregor, the original band leader, both died in 1990.

We have for you three tracks in Dudu's own name, backed by Spear, the first two from his classic 1973 album "In The Townships". Next we have one apiece from Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath and Assagai. Dudu wrote the McGregor track; I am not sure but I suspect he did not write the Assagai track. And we finish off with Dudu duelling with Mike Heron from the Incredible String Band, on a number that proves beyond doubt that hippies got soul!

"Baloyi" - Dudu Pukwana & Spear

"Nobomvu" - Dudu Pukwana & Spear

"Ko-Didi" - Dudu Pukwana & Spear

"Mra" - Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath

"Hey Jude" - Assagai

"Call Me Diamond" - Mike Heron

I could not find any clips of Dudu on YouTube so instead here are a couple of clips with links to another late, great South African sax legend - Bob Holness. Best known for presenting 'Blockbusters', his other claim to fame is playing the sax solo on 'Baker Street'. Sadly they seem to have got a ringer in on this video.

The other interesting fact about Bob - and this one has the added merit of being true - is that his daughter was in Toto Cuelo. Here they are with the hit.

1 comment:

  1. John Peel used to have a lot of sessions by Brotherhood of Breath in the early 70's and I haven't heard them since. What strikes me listening to Mra is that in memory they were this wild free jazz outfit.... mind you I was even less sophisticated then