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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DUDU PUKWANA, BOB STUCKEY

Night Time is the Right Time

Cadillac SGCD 007

 

 


1. Kicks for Sale
2. Jauana's Dream
3. B, My Dear
4. Messengers
5. Moonshine
6. Like We Did Yesterday
7. Kippie
8. Blessing Light
9. Night in Brentwood
10. Sweet Georgia Brown
11. I Feel Pretty
12. All of You
13. When I Grow Too Old to Dream
14. Bob's Hop

Bob Stuckey - Hammond organ
Dudu Pukwana - Alto sax (tracks 1-9)
Phil Lee - Guitar (tracks 1-9)
John Marshall - Drums (tracks 1-9)
Terry Smith - Guitar (tracks 10-14)
Martin Hart - Drums (tracks 10-14)

 

Bob Stuckey's organ trio played a lot in the 1960s at Ronnie Scott's "Old Place" in London. Bob is still active, mainly as a pianist, and he runs a singers' night at London's Vortex club. Dudu Pukwana made his name in South Africa with Chris McGregor's Blue Notes, a band which came to Europe to play at the 1964 Antibes Jazz Festival and moved to London in 1965, where they settled and enlivened the local jazz scene with South African influences. The recordings on this CD were made in 1967/68 and comprise the first album from John Jack's relaunched Cadillac label.

The first nine tracks are by a quartet featuring Dudu, and the tunes are mainly originals by members of the group. The opening Kicks for Sale is credited to Pukwana but is clearly based on Love for Sale, with groovy organ from Bob Stuckey, fluent guitar by Phil Lee, gritty sax from Dudu Pukwana, and imaginative drumming by John Marshall. Stuckey's Hammond pedals and John Marshall's drums maintain an enticing rhythm.

Jauana's Dream is also credited to Pukwana but again sounds remarkably like Love for Sale, although Phil Lee's chugging guitar suggests an African beat. Dudu's alto is powerfully gritty once more, but B, My Dear proves that Pukwana could be gently sensitive on a ballad.

Pukwana's Messengers is a funky piece with hard-driving sax from Dudu, who plays in such a way that you never quite know where he is going to go. Moonshine is an intricate composition by Bob Stuckey with some hefty improvisation by Dudu and stylish guitar from Phil Lee. Like We Did Yesterday is Pukwana's take on the bossa-nova - alternately fierce and soft.

Kippie was actually written by another South African - Abdullah Ibrahim (known at that time as Dollar Brand). All the musicians play in the subdued style the tune demands. Blessing Light is a Pukwana composition which swings gracefully. Phil Lee's Night in Brentwood is a swinger which gives hints of Dudu's later further-out explorations.

The last five recordings are by a trio, and they sometimes sound scrappy, as well as lacking the excitement that Dudu Pukwana brought to the nine preceding tracks. Bob Stuckey's Bob's Hop is the only original - the others are standards, although I Feel Pretty makes a neat jazz waltz, and it is good to hear Cole Porter's All of You (from Silk Stockings) as a change from the overdone All of Me.

I'm glad that these recordings have been dug out of the artists' archives, both for a reminder of what a considerable organist Bob Stuckey is and especially for the chance they give us to hear Dudu Pukwana from his early days in Britain, playing thrillingly.

Tony Augarde



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