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Dudu Phukwana and the "Spears"

by Dudu Pukwana

Half Moon 03:39
Half Moon 03:38
Church Mouse 02:45


Pressure Cooker South African Township Jazz and Mbaqanga
• Dudu Pukwana’s 1968 debut album, recorded in London, released only in South Africa.
• A second album of mostly unreleased 1969 recordings featuring Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Joe Mogotsi, Chris McGregor, Mongezi Feza, Louis Moholo, members of Osibisa, and others.
• Originally produced by Joe Boyd.
• Re-mastered audio, double gatefold album, heavyweight 180g vinyl.
• Unseen photographs by Val Wilmer.
• New liner notes by Richard Haslop join the historical dots.

Dudu Pukwana and the Spears recorded in London, but were only ever released in South Africa. The story behind this extraordinary music and the famous names involved are documented in this extended edition of Dudu Pukwana’s debut album.

In 1964 the Blue Notes left South Africa to play at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France, and more or less stayed away forever after. In January 1969 alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana went home briefly along with producer Joe Boyd who persuaded Johannesburg record company Trutone to license the recordings for release in South Africa.

Matsuli Music’s discovery of a second unpublished London recording session, following Dudu’s South Africa visit, reveals hitherto unknown music, and history. In addition to Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention) and Joe Mogotsi (Manhattan Brothers) putting their own spin on mbaqanga hits like Sibuyile, the Blue Notes’ fabled Church Mouse and an early version of Andromeda can also be heard.

With Pukwana’s explosive style and energy evident throughout, this album fills in an exciting and important lost piece of the Blue Notes’ and South Africa’s exile jazz story.


released June 22, 2020

Original Dudu Phukwana and the “Spears” LP recorded in 1968 and only released in South Africa on Trutone’s Quality label (LTJ-S 232) in 1969. Atlantic acetate (Tracks 11-19) recorded and produced in 1969 but never released. This reissue © and ℗ Matsuli Music Limited, 2020. Licensed from Barbara Pukwana and Joe Boyd.

Liner notes — peter sinclair
Photography by Peter Sinclair
Sleeve Design by Josh Spencer
A Witchseasons Production

All tracks composed by Dudu Pukwana, except:
iZulu Liyaduduma by R. Bopape, S. Piliso, P. Manana;
Sibuyile by S. Nkabinde, J. Makwela;
Church Mouse by Chris McGregor;
Untitled (Andromeda) by Chris McGregor.
Original recordings: Joe Boyd (producer); John Wood (engineer).
Photographs of Mongezi Feza and Dudu Pukwana by Val Wilmer.
Produced by Matt Temple and Chris Albertyn at Matsuli Music.
Audio restoration, remastering and vinyl cut by Frank at The Carvery, London.
Design by Siemon Allen at Flatinternational.
Special thanks to Sean Conlon for the loan of the Atlantic acetate, Siemon Allen for transcribing it and Rob Allingham, Adam Glasser and Nick Lotay for lending us your ears.

PERSONNEL on tracks 1-10
Confirmed: Dudu Pukwana (alto sax), Bob Stuckey (organ and bass pedals), Louis Moholo (drums). Likely: Phil Lee (guitar), Chris McGregor (piano), Teddy Osei (tenor sax), Mongezi Feza (trumpet), Harry Miller (bass). Possible: Jonas Gwangwa (trombone), Dudu Pukwana (tenor sax and piano), Remi Kabaka (drums or percussion), Jimmy Scott (percussion), Tunji Oyelana (drums or percussion).
PERSONNEL on tracks 11-19
Confirmed: Dudu Pukwana (alto sax), Richard Thompson (guitar), Simon Nicol (guitar), Harry Miller (bass), Louis Moholo (drums), Mongezi Feza (trumpet), Joe Mogotsi (vocals), Bob Stuckey (organ and bass pedals). Likely: Mamsie (Mthombeni) Gwangwa (vocals), Chris McGregor (piano), Phil Lee (guitar), Teddy Osei (tenor sax). Possible: Dudu Pukwana (tenor sax), Jonas Gwangwa (trombone), Remi Kabaka (drums or percussion), Jimmy Scott (percussion), Tunji Oyelana (drums or percussion)


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