|Johnny Mbizo Dyani "Witchdoctor's Son"
T o g e t h e r
1. Together (4.15)
4. High Priest (5.45)
1. Kalahari (8.45)
2. Crossroads (4.25)
3. Tula Tula (6.03)
All titles composed by Johnny Mbizo Dyani
+Johnny Mbizo Dyani - keyboards, vocals
+Dudu Pukwana - alto sax, whistles
+Peter "Shimmy" Radise - tenor sax
+Virimuje Willie Mbuende - electric bass
+Felix Perrera - harp
Kenny Håkansson - electric guitars
Hassan Bah - congos
Bosse Skoglund - drums
|Johnny Mbizo Dyani (+30/11/45 - *24/10/86) was born and grew up
in Duncan Village, a township of the South African city of East
London where he played piano and later bass at home with his
Mbizo left for Europe in 1964 as bassist with a racially mixed
quintet known as "The Blue Notes". Fifteen years later he was still
in Europe and was by this time internationally recognised as a
creative and highly original voice on the improvised music scene. He
felt it was time for him to form his own group, and it is this
present recording which uniquely documents the first formation of- "Witchdoctor's Son".
A South African, Stanley Koonin who has been in Sweden since 1967, was part of an organisation, "Ny Kultur" (New Culture), which was most successful presenting rock concerts from 1974 in Stockholm's "Kulturhus" (House of Culture). In 1979 Mbizo Dyani, who was also living in Sweden, asked Stanley if he would produce an album for him.
For the Witchdoctor's Son recording Stanley and Mbizo got hold of a couple of old friends, Bosse Skoglund (who said afterwards "it was the best drumming experience of my life"); guitarist Kenny Håkansson from the well known rock group Kebnekaise; tenorist Peter "Shimmy" Radise from Johannesburg who arrived in Sweden in 1959 with the Golden City Dixies and has lived here ever since; electric bassist Virimuje Willie Mbuende who came in 1969 from Namibia to Sweden; and from London his long-time colleague Dudu Pukwana. None of the group ever worked together previously. apart from Dudu and Mbizo: they simply went into the studio and did the sesssion.
The music is very special. Transcending the boundaries of nations and cultures, Mbizo's enthusiasm spread and inspired the session with his intense passion. A passion which revelled in a nostalgia for the myths and melodies of Marabi and Kwela. Mbizo's life was music, he gave his life for music. These sessions are Mbizo's own testimony to the spirit of hope for the future, for a better world. It is a statement so filled with vitality and with joy of rediscovered roots that it will stand as a signpost to the whole of his life and work.