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eMusic Features

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Trans-Global Expression: John Tchicai and Sean Bergin

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

Capsule jazz histories tell us European harmony and African rhythm came together west of the Atlantic. Yes, but: North Americans may forget that Africa and Europe are close neighbors whose cultures were interacting long before Columbus; even now, their musical mixes may bypass direct American mediation. In September and October 2012 two great and very different Afro-European saxophonists passed away: Denmark's John Tchicai, well known to American fans, and the South Africa-born Dutchman Sean Bergin,… more »

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Chris McGregor: Cape Town to Free Town

By Kevin Whitehead, Contributor

It wasn't easy, being the interracial Blue Notes in 1963 apartheid South Africa: a black horns-and-rhythm combo with a white pianist/music director, Chris McGregor. They skipped out of Cape Town the following year: went to a French festival and didn't return. In London by '65, the quintet's members were welcomed by forward-looking jazz musicians: Steve Lacy drafted bassist Johnny Dyani and drummer Louis Moholo for the album The Forest and the Zoo, and an ill-fated… more »