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The late, great Ntoni

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TO Ntoni

I remember that in one of my favourite Goon Show recordings, Neddy Seagoon opens the show with the following line: “Here it is, Christmas Eve and still no offers of pantomime.”

Well, we are at the end of February and not one new CD has arrived for review. We struggle on rewardless and regardless.

A little belatedly, I pay my respects to the late Victor Ntoni who died at the age of 65 on January 28. The man was a stalwart in local jazz and he remains an icon.

I found this snippet on the web in which four of the five musicians are no longer with us: formed in 1987 by co-leaders Darius Brubeck and Victor Ntoni, with Lulu Gontsana as their regular drummer, Afro Cool Concept is an ongoing project that its participants can pick up and put down as other commitments allow.

At the 1990 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the trio were joined by Barney Rachabane, who is considered by many to be South Africa’s premier alto sax player. The performance was captured live and broadcast on National Public Radio on more than 100 radio stations in the US.

It appeared on the African Echoes record label (SMB) later that year and it was Melt’s privilege to give it a wider audience on CD.

Only Darius Brubeck (who lost his father Dave on December 5) survives.

During the last two months many famous (and some notorious) jazz musicians have died. In the next edition of The Jassman, due at the end of this month, there are already 25 tributes and obituaries, including Etta James and Patty Andrews (of the Andrews Sisters).

On the positive side, the resurgence of music on vinyl may just see the jazz musos from the past re-emerging in the music stores.

Fans of the local Dixieland band, the Classic Jazz Masters, will be happy to hear that the Wanderers Golf Club in Joburg will resume its Sunday Jazz Lunch sessions soon. The last luncheon in December had the mature folk jiving in front of the band to the bemused stares of the younger generation. An excellent roast carvery for lunch is served at the break.

To those of you who have sent me invitations to join a social site, my apologies, I don’t do that.

Contact me at manofjass@yahoo.com.


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