A beautiful double-length package of work from drummer Louis Moholo – a 2CD set that features one record from recent years, and a key classic from the 70s! Spirits Rejoice is one of the strongest 70s statements from ex-Blue Notes drummer Moholo – recorded in the company of fellow expatriots and UK avant jazzers that include Johnny Dyani, Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler, Nick Evans, Radu Malfa
tti, and Harry Miller. The album shifts easily between strongly rhythmic passages that show Moholo's roots in the South African jazz scene, and other, freer sections that also illustrate his importance in the European avant scene of the 70s – and overall, the record's got a beautifully soulful quality that guides it well through all of these moments. Titles include "Wedding Hymn", "Khanya Apho Ukhona", "Ithi Gqi", "Amaxesha Osizi", and "You Ain't Gonna Know Me". That record is followed here by 1995's Bra Louis Bra Tebs – a session with a similar style, especially in its use of African-inspired rhythms – but one that also features a different lineup, and some great use of vocals! Francine Luce sings on a number of the album's best tracks – in a style that's almost an avant-tuned approach to vocalese, and which seems to carry echoes of Norma Winstone – a voice that's dreamy one minute, challenging the next – and often used as a key instrument in the combo's lineup of tenor, alto, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums. Titles include "Utshaka", "Maybe Of Cause", "Moegoe", "Sonke", and "Lakutshona Ilanga".