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Brotherhood of Breath

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The Dedication Orchestra
The South African jazz group the Brotherhood of Breath was founded after the dissolution of the musically and culturally groundbreaking Blue Notes in the 1960s. Like the Blue Notes, the Brotherhood of Breath boasted a multiracial lineup that challenged repressive South African apartheid laws. But to declare that fact as the two groups' only lasting legacy is to do them a disservice, for both the Blue Notes and Brotherhood of Breath were capable of composing and performing complex, challenging, inspirational, and engaging jazz music that blended free jazz with post-bop, big band, and South African jazz influences. The eclectic mix of styles has also prompted some jazz aficionados to classify the Brotherhood of Breath as jazz-rock fusion, and to place the group as a precursor to the acid jazz style

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Township Jazz: A Riot Busting Out

Read "Township Jazz: A Riot Busting Out" reviewed by Chris May


Dateline: April 2022. This month the American label Blue Note is launching its Blue Note Africa imprint with South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini's single “Senze' Nina." It is fittingly synchronous that at the same moment, Britain's Ogun label is reissuing two albums by South Africa's Blue Notes, the band which introduced township jazz to Europe and ...

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Article: Album Review

Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe / Four Men Only: Complete Recordings

Read "Complete Recordings" reviewed by John Sharpe


It's not often that something comes along which upends accepted wisdom, but that's what the Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint has accomplished with the reissue of four albums in a three-CD box set by the now unremembered Modern Jazz Quintet Karlsruhe (MJQK) and its successor FourMenOnly (FMO). The group, comprised of Herbert Joos, reedman Wilfried ...

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Article: Interview

Tamar Osborn: From Kalakuta To Collocutor: New Directions In Jazz

Read "Tamar Osborn: From Kalakuta To Collocutor: New Directions In Jazz" reviewed by Chris May


She has been likened to Gil Evans, Fela Kuti, Pharoah Sanders, Bismillah Khan and Mulatu Astatke, and the traditions represented by those musicians are all to be heard in the music of baritone saxophonist and composer Tamar Osborn. Osborn's aesthetic, however, is her own, and her band, Collocutor, is among the most distinctive on the British ...

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Article: Profile

Keith Tippett: 100 Best Foots Forward

Read "Keith Tippett: 100 Best Foots Forward" reviewed by Duncan Heining


From the Albert Hall at twenty-two with a fifty-piece band to picking potatoes to make ends meet a decade later, Keith Tippett's life in music could sum up many a jazz career. After a grim '80s, things now look better for the composer, pianist and bandleader. “What I'm about to say is ridiculous but it was ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Jazz in Exile, Part Two

Read "Jazz in Exile, Part Two" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


South Africa's Jazz enters a period of exile following the Sharpeville Massacre. In Part Two of Jazz in Exile, we'll examine more closely the artists who leave South Africa for Europe, learn about their stories, and hear their music. Playlist Blue Notes “Ntyilo Ntyilo" from Blue Notes for Johnny (Ogun Records) 01:49 Brotherhood of Breath “Mra" ...

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Article: In Pictures

Headliners and Rising Stars at the 2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival

Read "Headliners and Rising Stars at the 2018 Montreal International Jazz Festival" reviewed by Dave Kaufman


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4This year marked one of the best and most well-balanced indoor (paid indoor events) and (free) outdoor lineups at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (FIJM). The strength of the lineup stretched across genres and also maintained a consistency over the course of ...

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Article: Interview

Salim Washington: To Be Moved to Speak

Read "Salim Washington: To Be Moved to Speak" reviewed by Seton Hawkins


To audiences in Boston or New York, Salim Washington is not just a great musician, he is a community builder. Having first established the Roxbury Blues Aesthetic, then the Harlem Arts Ensemble, Washington has throughout his career carefully nurtured collectives of musicians who in turn generated irreplaceable music scenes at venues like Connolly's in Boston and ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Evan Parker

Read "Evan Parker" reviewed by John Eyles


In his biography of Robert Wyatt, Different Every Time (Serpent's Tail, 2015), author Marcus O'Dair describes Evan Parker as “perhaps the finest British free-jazz saxophonist of his generation." The only words in that phrase that seasoned Parker followers might take issue with are “perhaps," “British" and “free-jazz," preferring just to describe him as the finest improvising ...

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Article: Profile

Malcolm Griffiths: A Man For All Seasons

Read "Malcolm Griffiths: A Man For All Seasons" reviewed by Duncan Heining


We talk often of the stars, like 'Trane and Miles. We remember the bandleaders, such as Basie and Duke. We even recall the composers and arrangers, Ellington again, Gil Evans and Monk. And we never forget those star soloists like Johnny Hodges or Lester Young. But the guys in the machine room, the guys who make ...


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