On a recent trip to London I was hoping to catch a performance by Cape Town drummer Louis Moholo Moholo, the last surviving member of the famed jazz bands, The Blue Notes and The Brotherhood of Breath. Especially with the release of “Before the Wind Changes,” a live recording of The Blue Notes on tour in Belgium in 1979. For the uninitiated, The Blue Notes, along with Abdullah Ibrahim and Hugh Masekela, defined South African jazz internationally for much of the period between 1960 and 1980. The band consisted of Chris McGregor on piano, Moholo-Moholo, Dudu Pukwana on alto sax and Johnny Dyani on bass. They left South Africa in the early 1960s after being invited to a jazz festival in France and subsequently became key players in Britain’s jazz scene.

Meanwhile, while I am trying to get my hands on “Before the Wind Changes,” I’ll substitute with Youtube videos, like the 5-minute video just below. It is footage of Moholo-Moholo (close to the camera on the right) and his quintet playing in London last year.

Then right below is another video — 9 minutes long — filmed at a festival in London in 2010. Moholo (at the back on the left) with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith and Steve Noble:

Finally, there’s this interview filmed at the 2011 Pan African Space Station music festival in Cape Town with musician and composer, Neo Muyanga:

Further Reading

Take it to the house

On this month’s AIAC Radio, Boima celebrates all things basketball, looking at its historical relationships with music and race, then focusing on Africa’s biggest names in the sport.

El maestro siempre

Maky Madiba Sylla is a militant filmmaker excavating iconic Africans whose legacies he believes need to be known widely—like the singer Laba Sosseh.

Madiba and Mali

There is a remarkable connection between Mali and South Africa, dating back to the liberation struggle, and actively encouraged by the author’s work.

A devil’s deal

Rwanda’s proposed refugee deal with Britain is another strike against President Paul Kagame’s claim that he is an authentic and fearless pan-Africanist who advocates for the less fortunate.

Red and Black

Yunxiang Gao’s new book takes a fresh look at connected lives of African American and Chinese leftist activists, artists and intellectuals after World War II.

The Dar es Salaam years

In the early 1970s, Walter Rodney, expelled from Jamaica, took a post in Tanzania. In Leo Zeilig’s new book, he captures those exciting, but also difficult years and how it formed Rodney.

Rushing to boycott

The cultural boycott of Russia turns to the flawed precedent of apartheid South Africa for inspiration, while ignoring the much more carefully considered boycott of official Israeli culture by the BDS Movement.

The party question

Marcel Paret’s book, “Fragmented Militancy: Precarious Resistance in South Africa after Racial Inclusion,” tries to make sense of politics in South African urban informal settlements.

The missing pieces

Between melancholy, terror, and disillusion, Petit Pays is a groundbreaking and eye-opening take on one of the darkest pages of African history, one that is often misunderstood in the West.