All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles by Seton Hawkins

RADIO

Jazz in Exile, Part One

Read "Jazz in Exile, Part One" reviewed by

South Africa's Jazz enters a period of exile following the Sharpeville Massacre. Artists like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and many more leave the country in order to be able to continue performing their music. Playlist Miriam Makeba “Pata Pata" from Mama Africa: The Very Best of Miriam Makeba (Manteca) 2:24 Miriam Makeba “Ndodemnyama Verwoerd" from Africa (BMG) 5:19 Gwigwi Mrwebi “Nyusamkhaya" from Kwela (Honest Jons) 10:09 Hugh Masekela “U, Dwi" from Grrr (Verve Music) 13:28 Hugh Masekela ...

RADIO

King Kong to Sharpeville

Read "King Kong to Sharpeville" reviewed by

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 ...

RADIO

Marabi to Miriam Makeba

Read "Marabi to Miriam Makeba" reviewed by

Join us for part one of an eight-part series exploring the past and present of South Africa's Jazz scene. In this first section, we look at the early pre-Jazz musical roots in South Africa, exploring marabi, ghoema, and isicathamiya, and find out how these styles came to inform a uniquely South African take on Jazz! Playlist Thomas Mabiletsa “Zulu Piano Medley No. 1" from From Marabi to Disco (Gallo Music Publishers) 02:43 Barry van Zyl and the Bo ...

INTERVIEWS

Dan Shout: In With a Shout

Read "Dan Shout: In With a Shout" reviewed by

While it might be a cliché to say it, one can expect the unexpected when listening to the music of Dan Shout. An exceptional saxophonist and composer, the Cape Town-based artist has also built a sterling track record of creating highly distinctive and exciting albums. While he initially made a splash in 2012 with his sophomore release Serenading Ghosts, recorded in the abandoned Namibian ghost town of Kolmanskop, Shout has rightly earned a great deal of acclaim for ...

INTERVIEWS

Dave Ledbetter: Diversity and Unity

Read "Dave Ledbetter: Diversity and Unity" reviewed by

Even the most cursory listen to South African music yields an embarrassment of riches in the realm of guitar talents. Indeed, throughout the country's musical history innovative figures have forged a near universe of unique approaches to the instrument, fusing the many musical traditions of Southern Africa with popular styles into a staggering array of styles. Even within this abundance of guitar talents, Cape Town-based Dave Ledbetter nevertheless manages to stand out. A genre-hopping virtuoso whose ...

INTERVIEWS

Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself

Read "Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself" reviewed by

To follow the recordings of Cape Town-based vocalist and composer Nicky Schrire is to watch an artist evolve right in front of your eyes. With her 2012 debut Freedom Flight, Schrire demonstrated a supple soprano vocal technique and a knack for intelligent arrangements of unusual repertoire choices. Following it up the next year with Space and Time, she showed an uncanny ability to pare songs and performances down to their very essence, cutting away to reveal emotional truths ...

INTERVIEWS

Thandi Ntuli: On Exile

Read "Thandi Ntuli: On Exile" reviewed by

South African pianist, composer, and vocalist Thandi Ntuli entered 2018 not with a bang, but with a thermonuclear blast. At the close of 2017, she had been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist Award in Jazz, anointing her as the latest figure in an incredible lineage of South African Jazz artists to receive the honor. For any artist, that award alone would serve as a marker for a banner year. However, Ntuli also ...

INTERVIEWS

Yakhal' Inkomo: A South African Masterpiece at Fifty

Read "Yakhal' Inkomo: A South African Masterpiece at Fifty" reviewed by

On July 23, 1968, a now-legendary recording session took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, one that would ultimately prove a defining moment in the country's Jazz history and development. Led by tenor saxophonist Winston Mankunku Ngozi, a quartet that included pianist Lionel Pillay, bassist Agrippa Magwaza, and drummer Early Mabuza would record the album Yakhal' Inkomo. Comprising two originals of Mankunku's--the title track “Yakhal' Inkomo" and “Dedication (For Daddy Trane and Brother Shorter)"--as well as John Coltrane's “Bessie's Blues" and ...

INTERVIEWS

Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be

Read "Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be" reviewed by

Mandla Mlangeni has been engaged. The South African trumpeter, composer, and bandleader oversees three groups, notably the Amandla Freedom Ensemble and the Tune Recreation Committee. Additionally, his works are marked by an intense effort to explore and connect with social discourse in the country today. Indeed, from the Tune Recreation Committee's naming nod to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to the Amandla Freedom Ensemble's latest project Born to Be Black: A Celebration of the Conscious Soul exploring black identity, ...

INTERVIEWS

Bokani Dyer: African Piano

Read "Bokani Dyer: African Piano" reviewed by

Throughout this decade, pianist, composer, and bandleader Bokani Dyer has stood as one of the most formidable and creative keyboard talents in South Africa today. Raised in a musical family--his father is the legendary saxophonist Steve Dyer--Bokani Dyer quickly demonstrated an extraordinary musical vision and identity of his own. Indeed, albums of his, notably Emancipate the Story and World Music, stand as modern classics highlighting the breathtaking creativity in South Africa's music scene today. As Dyer releases his ...