Chris McGregor
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The South African influence on British jazz started with Chris McGregor (1936), a white pianist who in 1960 had organized in South Africa a mixed-race group, the Blue Notes: Mongezi Feza on trumpet, Dudu Pukwana on alto saxophone, Nikele Moyake on tenor saxophone, Johnny Dyani on bass and Louis Moholo on drums. Chris McGregor's ensemble The Castle Lager Big Band released The African Sound (september 1963): Kippie Moeketsi and Dudu Pukwana on alto sax, Mongezi Feza on trumpet, Roonie Beer on tenor sax, etc.

After emigrating to Britain in 1964, they recorded Very Urgent (december 1967). In 1970 the group expanded to include young British improvisers such as saxophonists John Surman, Mike Osborne and Alan Skidmore, trombonists Malcolm Griffiths and Nick Evans, and trumpeter Marc Charig, and became the Brotherhood Of Breath. The sound of this big band blended Duke Ellington's paradigmatic swing style with ethnic township rhythms, jazz-rock and free jazz, with McGregor's arrangements enabling challenging scores such as the 21-minute Night Poem on Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath (october 1970). Brotherhood (1971), also featuring Gary Windo, was less cohesive but contained Joyful Noises Of The Lord. Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford and Kenny Wheeler also played in the band at different points in time.

Other recordings were of the Brotherhood were: Travelling Somwhere (january 1973), Procession (may 1977), Yes Please (june 1981).

Traveling SOmewhere (Cuneiform, 2001), Bremen to Bridgewater (Cuneiform, 2004), Eclipse at Dawn (Cuneiform, 2008) document live performances.

McGregor died in 1990.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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