Saturday, December 30, 2006

Movement In The City

Rashid Vally is well known in the South African music industry as being a tough customer. When I used to work for a local indie back in the nineties I'd often hear stories about how this guy would keep people waiting for days to see him, even if they had an appointment. The reason Mr. Vally is like this is because he is the outright owner of some of the most important jazz recordings to be made in South Africa. His Sun label boasted a roster that included Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Basil Coetzee and Pops Mohammed. He owns the recording 'Mannenberg' for instance, which is a pretty major thing. Over the years he has licensed his stuff to various people, most notably EMI, who have issued many of the Abdullah Ibrahim recordings, unfortunately in very cheap packaging and without much reverence in general. One of the most sought after albums that the Sun label ever release is Black Teardrops by Movement In The City. Rashid is the owner of a store in central Johannesburg called Kohinoor. Nowadays it's a pitiful shell of it's former self, but once upon a time it was a treasure trove of jazz, both local and international. In the early nineties it was not unusual to find multiple copies of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, as if we were still living in the early sixties and the album had just been released. I used to find stuff like Albert Ayler at dirt cheap prices, Alice Coltrane's albums were a dime a dozen. Unfortunately too much of a good thing made me pretty blasé (also lots of strong weed made pretty blasé, to be honest) so I ended up selling a lot of that stuff, an act I now regret and have some difficulty living with. One of the things that Kohinoor often did was to dig stuff out of there store rooms and blow the minds of a few obsessed souls. One of the things that became abundantly available over the years was the albums Deeper In Black by Lionel Pillay and Black Teardrops by Movement In The City. I'll assume this happened when I was living out of town, if only to console myself due to the fact that I ended up paying a hundred rand for a copy. Not that that is really all that much money (most CD's in South Africa retail at about one hundred and eighty rand), but it was just the fact that I could have picked up like ten copies for the same amount if I had been in the store at the right time. The reason I ended up splashing out on a copy was because my friend Shaun had a copy in his shop and he told me that the one guy from Jazzanova had bought a whole stack of them when he was out here a few years ago. This intrigued me to the point that I gave in and ended up paying what is a pretty fair price considering. Today’s track is the first one on the album and is titled Lament. This album has never been issued on CD and this track pretty much rules. The line-up on the album includes Basil Coetzee and Pops Mohammed. - MKRGK.

1 comment:

chris keys said...

thanks Makrugaik for this post. quiet a rare thing this, from what i understand. and rather beautiful. is it Balearic??? (joke)