Don Cherry: Cornet
Dudu Pukwana: Alto Saxophone
Johnny Dyani: Bass
Makaya Ntshoko: Drums
Recorded July 18th, 1978.
Johnny Mbizo Dyani (bassist/composer) was born in East London, South Africa November 30, 1945 to grow up to be one of the most internationally acknowledged musicians. Since his arrival in England in 1965 as a member of South African jazz group called The Blue Notes Dyani had chosen Scandinavia as his home base and had built an active career until a rare disease shortened his life all too soon. He died in Berlin, Germany in 1986.
This album recorded in the summer of 1978 with the powerful front line-up of Don Cherry and Dudu Pukwana. The album was dedicated to the martyred South African activist against apartheid Steve Biko (1946-1977) with whom Dyani shared a cultural and linguistic heritage of Xhosa.
Bassist Johnny Dyani had a large tone and a relaxed yet authoritative style. On this classic SteepleChase release he teams up with two other South African expatriates (altoist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Makay Ntshoko) plus cornetist Don Cherry for music that is haunting, emotional, somewhat adventurous, yet also melodic. While "Song for Biko" is the most memorable piece, all five of Dyani's originals (including the 16-and-a-half-minute "Jo'burg-New York") are special. The music combines together Dyani's South African folk heritage with Ornette Coleman's free bop and elements of avant-garde jazz. Highly recommended.
by Scott Yanow