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Louis Moholo-Moholo / Dudu Pukwana / Johnny Dyani / Frank Wright – Spiritual Knowledge And Grace, Live 1979 (2004)

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A Darker Shade Of Blue

Ogun Rec. – OGCD 035
Format: CD, Album; Country: UK; Released: Apr 2004; Style: Free Jazz
Recorded live in Eindhoven, Holland on 22 June 1979

Review:

Accidents are part and parcel of any kind of improvised music. Such occurrences can be fickle things with a capacity to make or break a situation. So, when Chris McGregor was prevented from joining the first night of a Dutch tour by The Blue Notes in 1979, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Dudu Pukwana and Johnny Dyani embraced the accidental non-appearance of their pianist colleague and took to the stage.

Another accident, though admittedly much happier one, was the presence of tenor saxophonist, Frank Wright, who happened to be in Eindhoven on the same night and available to join the trio for a blow. Wright, who’d enjoyed stints with Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor and others, adds his own tumultuous character to a music already overflowing with celebratory, angularly expressive workouts as well as surprisingly tender, modal contemplations.

Here, two 30-plus minute improvisations chart a series of heaving peaks and troughs into which ideas, lines and playful episodes are pitched and tossed with complete abandon. Some good-natured traditional South African grooves dominate the end of the first collective jam, “Ancient Fire,” whilst Dyani’s mesmeric piano-led motifs usher in an explosive “Contemporary Fire.” Dense, ebullient and tempestuous throughout, the near-telepathic, lightning-fast exchanges between these truly remarkable musicians is a marvel.

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