Gideon Nxumalo


Regular price R450.00
Gideon Nxumalo was a key figure during the formative years of South African jazz in the 1950s, helping shape the emerging South African jazz sound as a pianist and composer and contributing to the scene as a radio presenter, music teacher and arranger. His recorded output as bandleader/composer is composed of three iconic albums from Jazz Fantasia (1962) to Gideon Plays (1968) to Early-Mart (1970).

Early-Mart was Gideon Nxumalo's tribute to his friend and musical compatriot, drummer Early Mabuza (Castle Lager Big Band, Mankunku Quartet), who died in 1969. Nxumalo assembled what journalist and observer Leslie Sehume reports was a 14-piece band for the album, which was recorded during a legendary overnight session in February 1970 and released just months before Nxumalo's own death on 24 December 1970.

Produced by Rashid Vally, Early-Mart (KRS 107) was released on Soultown Records, which would evolve into As-Shams/The Sun in 1974. It was Vally's first foray into avant-garde South African jazz and would lead to his label's fruitful relationship with Abdullah Ibrahim (recording as Dollar Brand). The deluxe edition of this 50th-anniversary reissue includes a limited print of a portrait of Early Mabuza by artist Winston Saoli, a piece commissioned initially as a possible album cover.