Dudu Phukwana and the Spears recorded in London, but were only ever released in South Africa. The story behind this extraordinary music and the famous names involved are documented in this extended edition of Dudu Phukwana’s debut album.
In 1964 the Blue Notes left South Africa to play at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France, and more or less stayed away forever after. In January 1969 alto saxophonist Dudu Phukwana went home briefly along with producer Joe Boyd who persuaded Johannesburg record company Trutone to license the recordings for release in South Africa. Matsuli Music’s discovery of a second unpublished London recording session, following Dudu’s South Africa visit, reveals hitherto unknown music, and history. In addition to Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention) and Joe Mogotsi (Manhattan Brothers) putting their own spin on mbaqanga hits like Sibuyile, the Blue Notes’ fabled Church Mouse and an early version of Andromeda can also be heard.
With Phukwana’s explosive style and energy evident throughout, this album fills in an exciting and important lost piece of the Blue Notes’ and South Africa’s exile jazz story.