“Bra Sello With Abafana Bentuthuko Volume One” by Bra Sello with Abafana Bentuthuko - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1968Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

This album rounds up recent single sides on CBS, all themed by being predominantly instrumental and being led, melody wise, by saxophones. 7 of the cuts are billed to Bra Sello – real name Selby Mmutung – a popular saxophonist of the South African Jive scene. 3 tracks are credited to The Big Four; 1 to CBS All Stars and 1 to Abafana Bentuthuko. Saxophone as lead melody is certainly the key feature of the album; only a couple of tracks have any vocals and, even at that, they are only momentary snips of spoken word. There’s very little between my 3 favourites on this set, but they are split between 3 of the 4 accredited artists. “Mr Music” by The Big Four is best from side 1 – it is distinguished by an odd backbeat and an extraordinary 15 seconds burst of Sax which almost wails like an old Zulu Warrior ready to do battle. “Mthembu Nonzimande” by Abafana Bentuthuko takes top spot. The track is named after Abafana Bentuthuko's leader, Hansford Mthembu. They were the often the backing band for Bra Sello, allowing the saxophonist to take the initiative. As I previously noted, this is the only track on the compile to be credited to Abafana Bentuthuko, so possibly Hansford was the writer for this one. Perhaps Brother Sello plays on the tune. I quite like the languid / mellow vibe here – there's some great character at play. Listen out for the key-change near the end – it’s very unusual for the genre and just goes to prove, Sax Jive wasn't all about the 150 BPM foot stompers! “Siyanyawuka Nzimande” by Bra Sello immediately follows – it’s a bit more upbeat, with more of a choppy rhythm and features some spoken-word. Brother Sello’s Sax is smooth and sweet, as always seems to be the case with him. This LP was made available by the culture preservationists, Electric Jive. You can read more about it and download a copy here.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:26] 7.0.png Bra Sello - 16-0-16 (Selby Mmutung) Africana
A2 [02:30] 6.9.png Bra Sello - Tycoons No 8 (Selby Mmutung) Africana
A3 [02:25] 7.8.png The Big Four - Mr Music (?) Africana
A4 [02:31] 6.7.png CBS All Stars - Can’t Be Still No 2 (?) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A5 [02:22] 7.2.png Bra Sello - 15-0-15 (Selby Mmutung) Africana
A6 [02:21] 6.8.png The Big Four - Thashi Thashi (?) Africana
B1 [02:23] 7.3.png Bra Sello - 17-0-17 (Selby Mmutung) Africana
B2 [02:18] 6.6.png Bra Sello - Down Town (Selby Mmutung) Africana
B3 [02:20] 8.0.png Abafana Bentuthuko - Mthembu Nonzimande (?) Africana
B4 [02:34] 7.9.png Bra Sello - Siyanyawuka Nzimande (Selby Mmutung) Africana
B5 [02:29] 7.5.png The Big Four - Boom Straat (?) Africana
B6 [02:28] 6.5.png Bra Sello - Jive American Jive No 1 (Selby Mmutung) Africana
© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved