johnny dyani, don cherry, & okay temiz, live on french tv (1971)

MBIZO DAY – today, Wednesday 30th November

The Pan African Space Station (PASS) will host a 24 hour live broadcast of music written and/or performed by healer, musician, composer and painter Johnny Mbizo Dyani (30 November 1945 – 24 October 1986), as well as rare interviews with the artist and comments by people who knew and worked with him.

TUNE IN HERE from 12:00 midday (GMT+2) today, Wednesday 30 November till midday on Thursday 1 December.

This listening session is in celebration of Mbizo’s life work and in commemoration of 30 years of his passing.

During his short life, Mbizo helped to establish the Blue Notes, a group he co-founded with Chris McGregor, Louis Moholo, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana and Nic Moyake, as the one of the most innovative and powerful forces in jazz. Or more precisely, what he called the SKANGA (a family of black creative musics). Mbizo was a highly sought-after bass player and vocalist who performed with some of the music’s most important figures, including Don Cherry, Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Mal Waldron, Famoudou Don Moye, Khan Jamal and many more. He recorded over 70 albums.

In addition to Chimurenga people, selectors and speakers include Keorapetse Kgositsile, Lefifi Tladi, Marcus Wyatt/Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra, Louis Moholo, Lesego Rampolokeng, Ikapa Jazz Movement, Tete Mbambisa, Maakomele Manaka, DJ Mighty, Tumi Mogorosi, Dala Flat, and many more.

And check out this wonderful performance from July 1971, broadcast live on French television.

arthur russell – this is how we walk on the moon (1980-something)

This song is just the best. It has helped me to keep putting one foot in front of the other on really difficult days.

Another Thought was originally released in 1994, just two years after Arthur Russell’s death from AIDS in 1992. At that time the enigmatic downtown NYC cellist/composer’s work appeared to be in danger of fading into obscurity, with nearly all of his recorded material either hopelessly out-of-print or unreleased entirely…

… As most of his fans have doubtless noticed by now, Russell was an artist whose career defies easy synopsis. Formally trained as a cellist, his music seemed to effortlessly draw links between the outwardly incompatible vocabularies of No Wave/post-punk, space disco, and avant-garde modern composition. So it is probably for the best that Another Thought was never intended as greatest hits package or a comprehensive career overview. The collection was instead compiled by producer Don Christensen from the countless hours of unreleased tapes that Russell had recorded over the final decade of his life. Most of this material consists of eccentric, deceptively simple solo pop songs for voice and cello. And as suggested by the album’s cover photo– which depicts Russell nonchalantly sporting a newspaper pirate hat– there’s a boyish innocence and playful romanticism to many of these tracks, resulting in some of the warmest and most intimate performances of his career.

Read the rest of this review.