What a shame that South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana died in exile on June 30, 1990, four years before the coming of democracy to his homeland and the end of the hated apartheid system. Perhaps he took some solace, on February 11 of that year, in seeing the release of freedom fighter Nelson Mandela after 27 years of incarceration.
Born on July 18, 1938, Pukwana was a titan of the South African jazz scene who played a critical role in the Blue Notes and Jazz Giants in South Africa, and in exile with Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath. He later co-founded the Afro-rock group Assagai and Spear, which recorded the influential In The Townships (Virgin C1504) in 1973.
I was inspired to post Pukwana's live recording Life in Bracknell & Willisau (Jika Records ZL 2, 1983) by Matsuli Music's recent post of the wonderful South African jazz LP Armitage Road by the Heshoo Beshoo Group. Released on Pukwana's own label, Life didn't achieve wide circulation, which is unfortunate, as it features some inspired performances, especially the vocals of Pinise Saul.
If you'd like to invesitigate more of Pukwana's music, In The Townships is out of print, but available here. Another popular album of his, Diamond Express (Arista/Freedom FLP 41041, 1975), is also out of print, and available here.
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Hug Pine (Bambelela)
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Mahlomole (Lament)/Lafente (Ntabeni-In the Mountains)
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Baqanga Bay
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Freely
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Funk Them Up to Eriko
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Ziyekeleni (Let Them Be)
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - The Big (Pine)Apple
Dudu Pukwana & Zila w. Pinise Saul - Zama Khwalo (Try Again)