Johnny Dyani

Song for Biko

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AllMusic Review by

Bassist Johnny Dyani had a large tone and a relaxed yet authoritative style. On this classic SteepleChase release he teams up with two other South African expatriates (altoist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Makay Ntshoko) plus cornetist Don Cherry for music that is haunting, emotional, somewhat adventurous, yet also melodic. While "Song for Biko" is the most memorable piece, all five of Dyani's originals (including the 16-and-a-half-minute "Jo'burg-New York") are special. The music combines together Dyani's South African folk heritage with Ornette Coleman's free bop and elements of avant-garde jazz. Highly recommended.

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