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Boomkat Product Review:
**After the stunning Ndiko Xaba and the Natives, Matsuli Music return to South Africa's hotbed of jazz circa 1969 with this beautifully remastered reissue of The Soul Jazzmen's impossible-to-find and solitary album. Heavy card jacket and printed inner, too**
"It's hardly news anymore that Cape musicians are the best in the Republic of South Africa. It goes without saying that they are still the originals from who almost every group draws more inspiriation. Still it may help silence the jazz diehards who have been doing the 'Cape artists are not that great bit' all year. In this disc they have come out with a very impresive package that will knock you out. The title tune Inhlupheko (Distress) a ditty that wraps around you with infiinite sadness was born at the 'Blue Berry', home of iimpressario Ray Nkwe and Soweto's jazz workshop where entertainers meet to share ideas and knock tunes into shape. It happened during the festive season in 1968. Four gawky figures, their limbs ached and their faces were masks of dejection. They were from Port Elizabeth and had come to the Golden City to perform at shows. The concerts were financial flops and the four musicians were left stranded. When they finally reached the Blue Berry their lonely desperation flooded into Rays heart and he fed the four hungry men. With their tummies full the four jazzmen controbuted towards a drink work fifty cents and it gurgled happily down their throats.They picked up their instruments and started to blow. They blew into the night and temporarily forgot their distress. Thats how Inhupeko was born. The composer of the song, Duku Makasi has been called the new tenor-sax voice of 1969 and this recording proves he is also the sound of '69. He has that hard core of progressive jazz and tears up with a fine rhythm backing of Tete Mbambisa on piano, drummer Mafufu Jama and the thudding bass of "Big T"Ntshele. The other tunes on this LP record illustrates the group's fine voice. And the musical mind behind the success story of the Soul Jazzmen is Duku Makasi. Just one more treat for jazz fans."