Spirits Rejoice: African Spaces LP
A defining musical statement in South Africa’s jazz canon – pinpointing the moment of social and musical ferment in which the country’s terms of engagement with jazz were irreversibly changed. Comes on heavyweight 180g vinyl with remastered audio, inner sleeve with new photographs and additional liner notes by Francis Gooding. At a distance of more than forty years, the radicalism and significance of African Spaces can be seen more clearly. Ambitious, uncompromising, and resolutely progressive, it represents a unique high-water mark in South Africa’s long musical engagement with the newest developments in American jazz – a response to the cosmic call of Return To Forever, and an answer to Miles’ On the Corner. Spirits Rejoice drew together some of South Africa’s most abundantly talented and forward-thinking jazz players and created a complex and challenging jazz fusion that shifted the terms of South Africa’s engagement with jazz towards new music being made by pioneers such as Chick Corea, Weather Report, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny and others. African Spaces, their debut recording, is one of the key documents in the South African jazz canon. Emerging in the aftermath of the 1976 Soweto uprising, and taking its place alongside the crucial mid-1970s music of Malombo, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Batsumi, it is a defining but unsung musical statement of its era.