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Article

Gregory F. Barz

(b Accra, May 31, 1919; d July 19, 1996). Ghanaian trumpet and saxophone player and bandleader . After learning to play the organ and the saxophone while at secondary school, he formed the Accra Rhythmic Orchestra in the 1930s. He played in several bands during the 1940s before joining the Tempos in Accra in 1947; in addition to highlife, the band’s repertory included calypsos, boleros and cha cha chas. Mensah became known as ‘The King of Highlife’ and performed with Louis Armstrong during the latter’s visit to Ghana in 1956. With the decline of big band highlife, Mensah earned his living as a government pharmacist for some time, but during the 1970s he took part in a revival of big band highlife during which he made several important recordings. He made further comebacks during the 1980s, one of which coincided with the reissue on the RetroAfric label of several recordings from ...

Article

Christopher Ballantine

South African dance band founded in Johannesburg in 1930 or 1931. Initially named Motsieloa’s Band (after its founder and manager, the impresario and entertainer Griffiths Motsieloa), it was established as a five-piece group (two violins, trombone, piano, and drums). In 1932 the band changed its name to the Merry Blackbirds, and around the same time one of the violinists left and an alto saxophonist was added, soon to be followed by a tenor saxophonist and a trumpeter. The group sought to cater primarily to an élite black audience and largely set itself in opposition to marabi, a pan-ethnic working-class popular music developed in the urban slums. Partially coached by a white musician, the Merry Blackbirds imitated American dance bands that were becoming known in the country through recordings and films. The group was probably the only black South African band of the 1930s that was able to play from score, rather than just by ear, though in its early days only the pianist had a copy of any sheet music, and the other instrumentalists had to follow and harmonize as best they could. Seven pieces remained the norm until the mid-1940s, at which time the Blackbirds were at the height of their popularity, and the band’s size increased to include five saxophones and four additional brass instruments. Principal members included Peter Rezant (alto saxophone and leader), Enoch Matunjwa (trumpet; replaced by Stephen Monkoe), Philip Mbanjwa (alto saxophone and later trombone), Mac Modikwe (tenor saxophone), Emily Motsieloa (piano), Ike Shuping (violin), Fats Dunjwa (double bass), and Tommy Koza (drums); Marjorie Pretorius sang with the group for a while, thus becoming the country’s first black female jazz vocalist. The Merry Blackbirds toured widely and developed a reputation as the most polished South African black dance band of the 1930s and 1940s. The group disbanded in the 1960s....

Article

(b St. Louis, Sept 1, 1917; d Freetown, Sierra Leone, Feb 10, 1961). American singer. In the 1930s she gained experience performing in clubs, and from 1942 she sang with Louis Armstrong, at first in his big band and later with the All Stars. Her comic romantic duets with Armstrong, such as That’s my desire (1947, Decca 28372), became famous, though some listeners found them distasteful. Middleton made many recordings with Armstrong and may be heard to advantage on Baby, it’s cold outside (1951, Decca 928172); she also appeared with him in numerous films and television shows, notably the documentary “Satchmo the Great” (“Saga of Satchmo,” 1956). As a leader she recorded two albums (1948, 1951), on the first of which she was joined by Earl Hines and Cozy Cole. She died while on a tour of Africa with Armstrong.

ChiltonW; FeatherE; Feather '60s...

Article

Charles de Ledesma and Barry Kernfeld

[Harold Simon ]

(b Cape Town, April 25, 1941; d Netherlands, Dec 16, 1983). South African double bass player. He moved to London in 1961, joined the group of the West Indian drummer Don Brown, and then after Brown’s death, joined the Group Sounds Five [sic]. From 1967 to 1970 he was the pre-eminent double bass player of the developing free-jazz movement in London; he played with John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Mike Westbrook, the Brotherhood of Breath, and, most notably, alongside Louis Moholo as a member of Mike Osborne’s trio. In 1973, with others, he formed the record company Ogun; around this same time he formed what became a longstanding duo with Radu Malfatti. During the mid-1970s he led his own band, Isipingo, which at times included Moholo and Keith Tippett. He played with Peter Brötzmann in Berlin early in 1977, and later that year he moved to the Netherlands, where he formed a quintet and worked with Willem Breuker, Leo Cuypers, Han Bennink, and other Dutch players until his death in an automobile accident. Miller’s versatility and range of expression as a player were remarkable: his solo album ...

Article

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

José López-Calo

( b Málaga, Dec 6, 1869; d Stockholm, Aug 15, 1921). Spanish musicologist . A diplomat by profession, he served in Spanish embassies in Russia, Turkey, Morocco and Sweden. Composition was his first musical interest, and he studied in Málaga with Eduardo Ocón, in Madrid with Felipe Pedrell and in Paris with Saint-Saëns. Although he composed various works, including an opera La buena guarda, he devoted himself most intensively to musicology and in particular to the study of Spanish music. His writings have dealt with many of the seminal figures of Spanish music, including Juan del Encina, Francisco Guerrero, Cristóbal de Morales and Fernando de las Infantas; he also compiled the catalogue of the printed music of the 16th and 17th centuries at Uppsala University, and discovered the important collection Villancicos de diversos autores (Venice, 1556), the music of which was later published by Jesús Bal y Gay as the ...

Article

Mizwid  

Jeremy Montagu

Bagpipe of North Africa. It is basically a mijwiz played through a bag, i.e. a double clarinet with two parallel cane chanters, each with a single reed. Each chanter usually has five fingerholes, often with a short cowhorn bell on the end. The bag is normally made from a minimally cured goatskin with the chanters set into the neck hole. The mouthpipe, in one leg hole, often lacks a non-return valve, so the player must stop the pipe with the tongue while inhaling. The other leg holes are plugged with wooden sticks....

Article

Nishlyn Ramana

[Jeremiah, Jerry]

(b Johannesburg, July 27, 1925; d 1983). South African alto saxophon-ist. Self-taught, he began his career as a clarinetist with the Band in Blue, led by the saxophonist Bob Twala. He began playing alto saxophone at the age of 20, and in the 1950s he toured with the Shantytown Sextet, led by the tenor saxophonist Mackay Davashe, which was best known as the band that accompanied the Manhattan Brothers. In the mid-1950s Moeketsi began working with Abdullah Ibrahim (then known as Dollar Brand) and, together with Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, and others, formed the Jazz Epistles, which became one of the country’s most celebrated modern-jazz groups. Following the demise of the Jazz Epistles, Moeketsi joined Davashe’s Jazz Dazzlers, which toured South Africa in 1959 and London in 1961 as part of the musical King Kong. In 1963 his saxophone was confiscated by border authorities during a trip to Malawi. He was also deprived of his work pass by an increasingly repressive apartheid government. Disillusioned, he did not perform again until ...

Article

Charles de Ledesma and Barry Kernfeld

(Tebogo )

(b Cape Town, March 10, 1940). South African drummer. He grew up in a musical family and took up drums in 1956 to play in a big band. In 1962 he joined the Swinging City Six, led in Cape Town by the tenor saxophonist Ronnie Beer, and the following year he became a member of Chris McGregor’s Blue Notes. He moved to Europe with the group, which performed at the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes–Juan-les-Pins in France (1964), held residencies at Swiss clubs (1964–5), and traveled to London (1965). Moholo recorded with Roswell Rudd in The Netherlands (1965), toured Britain, Italy, and South America with Enrico Rava and Johnny Dyani in a quartet led by Steve Lacy (1966), and on a brief visit to New York worked with Rudd, John Tchicai, and Archie Shepp. In 1967 he rejoined McGregor and at the end of the decade became a member of the pianist’s Brotherhood of Breath, with which he recorded several albums. He also played in Dudu Pukwana’s groups Assagai (recording in ...

Article

Mokoto  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Very large cylindrical slit drum of the Mbuja people in the Ubangi region, Democratic Republic of the Congo; it is also known as mongungu, a name also used by the Komo. The term mokoto also denotes a large slit drum of the Ngombe in the Ubangi-Uele region; it is carved in a zoomorphic form....

Article

Molea  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Article

Molimo  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

[isumba]

Wooden or bamboo voice modifier and trumpet of the Mbuti Pygmies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A long metal drainpipe has been used instead; the material is considered unimportant, although a hollowed length of wood is preferred. The term molimo also refers to a ritual celebrated to awaken the forest, protector of the Mbuti people, and for related ceremonies. The instrument is sounded during the ritual by a young man after it has been immersed in water and rubbed with leaves and earth; sometimes it is passed through fire and rubbed with hot ashes. Its sounds imitate animal noises, and it is often referred to as the ‘animal of the forest’. When the ...

Article

Molu  

Article

Harold Rosenthal

English opera company. It was established in 1898 after a successful opera tour in South Africa by the Irish bass Charles Manners and his wife, the soprano Fanny Moody; its aim was to produce grand opera in English. At first it toured the provinces; by 1902 there were two Moody-Manners companies on the road. The principal company, with 175 members, gave seasons that year and in 1903 at Covent Garden, at Drury Lane in 1904 and later at other London theatres. With the Carl Rosa company, it was the principal training ground for British artists in the years before World War I.

Manners encouraged British composers to write for his company, offering prizes for operas. The resulting works included C. McAlpin’s The Cross and the Crescent (1903, Covent Garden), and Nicholas Gatty’s Greysteel (1906, Sheffield). In Sheffield Manners sponsored special opera festivals in 1904 and 1906, the profits of which helped to found Sheffield University. A successful season in Glasgow in ...

Article

José Duarte

(b Lisbon, Jan 19, 1969). Portuguese alto saxophonist, arranger, and composer, brother of Bernardo Moreira. As co-leader with his brother of the Moreiras Jazztet he played at festivals in Portugal, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Mozambique, South Africa, the Ivory Coast, and North Carolina; he also played with Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, the drummer Greg Bandy, and Eddie Henderson, among many others. He taught and led the big band at the school run by the Hot Clube de Portugal. After studying at the Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon to 1994, in 1996 he moved to New York and in 1998 completed work on a BFA in jazz and contemporary music at the Mannes/New School. He also composed for the Jazz Composers Collective and recorded with Herbie Hancock (1998) and played with Joe Chambers and others. Another brother, João Moreira, plays trumpet.

Article

Philip Schuyler

(Arab. Mamlaka al-Maghrebia)

Country in north-west Africa. It lies in the north-west corner of the continent, flanked by the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean. Four mountain ranges – the Rif, Middle-Atlas, High-Atlas and Anti-Atlas – divide the kingdom into distinct ecological and cultural zones. These include the different mountain regions themselves, the fertile plains of the Atlantic coast, dry steppe to the east of the Middle-Atlas, and the Sahara desert to the south and east of the High- and Anti-Atlas. This geographical position and topological variety have contributed to great cultural diversity. Many Moroccan musical styles and areas, including the Rif mountains, the Jbala region north of Fez and the desert region of the deep south, have yet to be studied in depth.

The many varieties of Moroccan music draw on several separate musical cultures from the Middle East, Africa and southern Europe. The indigenous Berber peoples, who have inhabited North Africa for at least 2500 years, are generally divided into three groups: Tarifit-speakers (in the Rif mountains), Tamazight-speakers (Middle-Atlas) and Tashlhit-speakers (High-Atlas, Anti-Atlas and the desert beyond). Half the Moroccan population speaks some variety of Berber....

Article

Jeremy Montagu

Flute of the Tswana people of southern Africa. It is made of hardwood, shaped to a cone, split, conically grooved to form the bore, reunited, and then covered by a tubular section of antelope-leg skin, which shrinks as it dries. A feather treated with ‘medicine’ is kept inside it. The instrument is blown while placed on the hollowed tongue, and is very difficult to play. A series of pitches is obtained by opening and closing a small hole in the end. It is a warrior’s instrument, also used as a summons to meetings, and a valued personal possession. It resembles the Pedi ...

Article

Motutu  

K.A. Gourlay

revised by Ferdinand J. de Hen

[moturu, mbia]

Side-blown waterbuck horn of the Ngbaka people in the Ubangi region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is traditionally blown only on the death of a notable. Similar horns of the Nkundi and the Logo are known respectively as ekungu and irili. Large horns were traditionally single-note instruments used for war or funerals. Smaller ones, used for sub-chiefs and signaling, had a fingerhole; in performance, the bell was opened or closed by a hand, enabling four or more notes to be produced. These horns have a square or lozenge-shaped embouchure and sometimes also an attached wooden bell. The Eso ...

Article

Andrew Tracey

(Port. República de Moçambique)

Country in south-east Africa. It has an area of 799,380 km² and a population of 19·56 million (UN est. 2000, before severe floods of Feb 2000). After about four centuries of Arab influence and settlement on coastal islands such as Moçambique and Ibo, the first Portuguese, Pero da Covilhã, reached Moçambique Island and Sofala in 1489. Rapid settlement followed, and within a century most of the coastline had been colonized. In 1752 the General Government of Mozambique was created. The main areas of development were Moçambique Island, the lower Zambezi and Manica highlands, and the coastal area from Inhambane southwards. Except for the Tete area in the Zambezi valley, however, Portuguese rule was finally established in the interior only in the early 20th century (the final campaign was in 1912). Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) became the capital in 1897. Mozambique became independent in June 1975.

The Zambezi valley divides the primarily matrilineal peoples of the north from the patrilineal peoples of the south; it also marks the approximate southern limit of Swahili or Arab influence, which was manifested in trade and the introduction of slavery and Islam. The north is inhabited by the Swahili, whose territory extends along the coast into Tanzania; the Makonde, who are also divided between Tanzania and Mozambique and who are noted for their rich sculptural tradition, their masked dances, and other cultural features more typical of Central than East African peoples (...

Article

Mpungi  

Ferdinand J. de Hen

Tubular mirliton of the Sanga people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is made of the stem of a papaya or other reed and is sung into through a hole cut in the side. One end is left open and the other is covered by a thin buzzing membrane. The Chokwe call it ...