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Molelekwa: Africa's best since Fela?

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  • Ben Robertson
    This email announces the publication of a discography of the African jazz musician Moses Taiwa Molelekwa who died five years ago on 13th February 2001 aged 27.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2006
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      This email announces the publication of a discography of the African
      jazz musician Moses Taiwa Molelekwa who died five years ago on 13th
      February 2001 aged 27.

      Certainly Molelekwa was most revered musician of his generation in
      South Africa. Arguably he will be come to be remembered as Africa's
      most innovative and influential jazz musician since Fela Kuti's 1970's
      heyday. Reasons for this assertion which are demonstrated in the
      discography at www.africanjazz.info <http://www.africanjazz.info/>
      include:

      * "Finding Oneself" Aged 21 and already five years into his
      career,
      Molelekwa became the youngest artist in the history of South Africa to
      make a solo jazz album. His CD "Finding One's Self" went on to win the
      annual South African Music Awards (SAMA) in two categories: Best
      Traditional Jazz and Best Contemporary Jazz - an achievement unmatched
      by any artist before or since.

      * " Genes and Spirits" The discography shows that Molelekwa's
      second
      solo CD, Genes and Spirits, the last to be released during his
      lifetime, is the most sampled African jazz CD of the last ten years.

      * Post "Genes and Spirits" recordings The discography for the last
      few years of Molelekwa's life shows him leading African jazz
      musicianship to places that it had never been before. By 2001
      recordings that involved Molelekwa had been nominated in SAMA
      categories not only for jazz but for Kwaito, Rap, R n B, etc. He was
      also involved in seminal House and drum n bass recordings as well as
      John Cage style prepared piano duets with the British classical
      pianist Joanna MacGregor. One of these duets was later short listed
      for the Panasonic Mercury Music Prize album of the year award 2002,
      which is the UK's most prestigious music award.

      * Unreleased material The discography shows that there is a wealth
      of unreleased material such as live recordings of compositions
      intended for Molelekwa's third solo CD. Snippets of recordings from
      this period which are available such as the live version of "Ntate
      Moholo" on Wa Mpona suggest that Molelekwa's last jazz group which
      featured younger stars such as saxophonist Moses Khumalo and drummer
      Sello Montwedi was his best.

      * Tributes Molelekwa's mysterious death in 2001 inspired his
      peers to
      record an unprecedented number of musical tributes which mirror the
      extraordinary breadth and depth of his influence.



      If anyone has any corrections or additions to the discography, please
      do not hesitate to contact me. However please do not ask for copies of
      the music. Almost all the CDs and DVD's detailed in the discography
      are still available from record stores or from specialist internet
      retailers such as www.oneworld.co.za <http://www.oneworld.co.za/> . I
      do not have copies of any unreleased material.

      There will be an opportunity to hear some of the musical tributes to
      Molelekwa featured in this discography from 16:00 to 17:00 GMT on
      Monday 13th February when I am scheduled to appear as a guest on Paul
      Seacombe's Jazz Junction radio show at www.xtremeradio.org
      <http://www.xtremeradio.org/> , which is the radio station for
      Swansea University.

      Hoping that this discography will prove useful and lead to a greater
      appreciation of this wonderful music, nkonu







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