A different day... I was supposed to be in Dublin, to attend the I and E festival but... My mother, Catherine, died on Wednesday evening – after a traumatic 18 hours or so when she fought for life all the way – as she would... but a good age – 84, and after the ravages of dementia had taken her into a place where we could not follow. Not much more to say – except to offer up some music... Kay was a Dutch Afrikaner who married an English airman just after the Second World War when he was stationed in South Africa. Stan (the Man) went down the road a long time back – at the age of 55. Kay has just joined him. He liked jazz – and so did she... Here's Abdullah Ibrahim with Johnny Dyani from 1979, playing 'Namhanje,' a long, rolling and rocking track over an insistent vamp. In his piano right hand, you can hear all his obvious influences, over that Bflat to A flat ostinato. For me, at this moment – some beautiful music...
And to celebrate her Afrikaner roots... here's a version of 'Sarie Marais,' the first song I ever knew, as it was sung incessantly by a young mother to her baby in a strange land and indelibly imprinted on my mind... the military band is appropriate – my father met my mother in time of war...
O bring my trug na die ou Transvaal,
Daar waar my Sarie woon.
Daar onder in die mielies
By die groen doringboom,
Daar woon my Sarie Marais.
... and to blast it out... here are the greatest band to come out of S.A., loaded up with the cream of Brit jazzers – Chris McGregor and the Brotherhood of Breath... recorded live in Bremen, 1973... 'Wood Fire.'
Abdullah Ibrahim (p) Johnny Dyani (b)
Band of the Royal Marines
Chris McGregor/Brotherhood of Breath
Harry Beckett, Mark Charig, Mongezi Feza (t) Nick Evans Malcolm Griffiths (tr) Mike Osborne, Evan Parker, Dudu Pukwana Gary Windo (saxes) Chris McGregor (p) Harry Miller (b) Louis Moholo (d).