Nkosi, Zacks [Isaac Ben; Zakes]
- Darius Brubeck
[Isaac Ben; Zakes]
(b Ingogo, near Newcastle, South Africa, 1918; d Johannesburg, 1980). South African alto saxophonist and clarinetist. His family moved to Alexandra township and he attended Holy Cross Catholic School. Having received basic instruction in piano and organ at the age of nine, by the time he was 15 he was playing accordion, violin, and clarinet, and he soon took up alto saxophone to play with such local bands as the Blue Diamonds, the Jazz Havanas (also known as the Havana Swingsters), and, eventually, the well-known Jazz Maniacs, top-rated interpreters of American swing whose playing moved towards a township jazz style in the 1940s. During the golden era of South African jazz, from the 1950s into the 1960s, Nkosi made many recordings as a freelance with the African Swingsters (including Swazi Stomp, 1952, HMV JP133) and as the leader of the City Jazz Nine and Zacks and the Sextet. His first album, ...