Jazz Articles

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Album Review

Miriam Makeba: Pata Pata

Read "Pata Pata" reviewed by John Eyles


Originally released on Reprise in 1967, Pata Pata was Miriam Makeba's first album for the label, after a period recording for RCA. She had written the title song in 1956, when she still lived in South Africa, and recorded it with the Skylarks, the vocal harmony girl group of which she was a member. The Reprise version, as heard on this album, was released as a single and was a runaway hit, peaking at 12 on the Billboard Hot 100; ...

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Radio & Podcasts

King Kong to Sharpeville

Read "King Kong to Sharpeville" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


Part two of an eight-part series exploring the past and present of South Africa's Jazz scene. This episode looks at the late 1950s in South Africa's Jazz, leading up to the early 1960s and the fallout of the Sharpeville Massacre. Playlist Cast of King Kong “Sad Times, Bad Times" from King Kong: Original Cast (Gallo Music Publishers) 01:55 Miriam Makeba “Back of the Moon" from King Kong: Original Cast (Gallo Music Publishers) 05:54 Kippie Moeketsi and the ...

415

Album Review

Miriam Makeba: South Africa's Skylark

Read "South Africa's Skylark" reviewed by Chris May


As was the case with her mentor, partner and fellow social radical, singer Harry Belafonte, South African-born singer Miriam Makeba's breakthrough international hits were sunny, folk-based pop singles devoid of the explicit political content which would later inform much of her work. Belafonte scored with the calypsos “Banana Boat Song" and “Island In The Sun" in 1956-57. Makeba with “The Click Song" and “Pata Pata" shortly after arriving in the US in 1959. The discs made Belafonte and Makeba hugely ...

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Album Review

Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks: Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 1/Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 2

Read "Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 1/Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks Vol. 2" reviewed by Ed Kopp


If you like jazz vocalese, doo-wop, old-time soul, gospel, South African township music, or any combination of the aforementioned, you will probably love these two CDs by Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks. Together these separate releases provide a comprehensive overview of the group's recorded legacy. Makeba and the Skylarks were one of the most successful South African vocal groups to blend American influences (Mills Brothers-style pop, gospel, and jazz) with South African tribal rhythms and vocal styles ...

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Album Review

Miriam Makeba: The Definitive Collection

Read "The Definitive Collection" reviewed by John Eyles


For as long as I can remember, Miriam Makeba has been the female voice of South Africa, as well as an international ambassador for the causes of liberation and justice. This compilation is worthy of its subject; having been put together with the help of Makeba herself, it gives a good picture of her entire career and includes her most popular songs. Makeba made her recording debut with The Manhattan Brothers in 1953, on the track “Laku Tshone ...


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