FREEDOM'S CHILDREN WITH MALOMBO JAZZ MAKERS - Ourang-Outang (1971)R460.00
In August 1971, the white wizards of South Africa's psychedelic rock underground shared the stage with the black witchdoctors of the Afro-jazz avant-garde. The event was the Tribal Blues concerts at Wits Great Hall, an unprecedented cross-cultural showcase of popular music styles hosted by the maverick independent label 3rd Ear Music.
Ourang-Outang (2020) presents rehearsals and jams recorded by 3rd Ear director, producer and engineer David Marks in rural KwaZulu-Natal as this unlikely alliance of musical druids prepared for their concert appearances in Johannesburg.
The Freedom's Children with Malombo Jazz Makers recordings from this Valley of a Thousand Hills retreat were edited and distilled onto an album-length proof-of-concept tape shaped by songwriter Ramsay Mackay's vision of an allegorical South African tribal musical entitled Ourang-Outang. The reel was stored in a box scrawled with annotations and accompanied by a skeletal tracklisting with two takes of it's catchy main theme and some outstanding jamming. The tape also contained a minute-long false-start that would be used as an amusing coda for the A-side of Molombo's 3rd Ear album Music of the Spirit (1971).
As fate would have it, Ramsay Mackay's unfinished stage concept was shelved and eventually abandoned although the main theme was re-purposed and recorded by other artists over the course of the 1970s. Just shy of 50 years later, the Ourang-Outang tape would emerge to tell it's story under Mackay's guidance and supervision before his passing in December 2018.
Edition of 300 with deluxe/heavy paste-on jacket. Archival 1971 jams and demos from Freedom's Children with Molombo Jazz Makers.