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COMPOSERS: Harry Beckett (trumpet),Nick Stephens (bass) etc,Thomas Dyani (percussion)
LABELS: Edgetone Records
ALBUM TITLE: Duduvudu: The Gospel according to Dudu Pukwana
PERFORMER: Harry Beckett (trumpet), Thomas Dyani (percussion), Nick Stephens (bass) etc


This disc celebrates the South African jazz saxist Dudu Pukwana, who died almost 25 years ago. His mix of township swing and free jazz proved a huge hit on the UK festival circuit and this project brings together a selection of players with whom he performed, including trombonist Annie Whitehead and the late trumpeter Harry Beckett. Pukwana relocated to the UK in the 1960s (along with pianist Chris McGregor) when their band, The Blue Notes, fell foul of the apartheid authorities.

Stylistically this album covers a wide sweep, from early hard bop harmonies in ‘Mra’ with its haunting flute runs, to the 1970s’ funk-packed ‘Diamond Express’, or the upbeat township jive on ‘Sonia’ which builds up riotous brass. Pukwana’s recordings often captured the raw quality of his performance and this is brought joyfully back to life.


Neil McKim