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2007 - week 42, from 20 October

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:06 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Va Fan Fahre - Zet je maar [feat: Aicha Haskal] - Zet Je Maar - Belgium - Zephyrus - ZEP005

2 - Gert Vlok Nel - Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes - Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes - South Africa - Munich - MRCD 281

3 - Simphiwe Dana - Bantu Biko Street - The One Love Movement - South Africa - Gallo - 2564 69990-7
4 - Youssou N'Dour - Dabbax - Rokku Mi Rokka - Senegal - Nonesuch - PRO 400015

5 - Joe Zawinul - Erdäpfee Blues (Potato Blues) - My People - Austria/USA - EPA - ESC03651-2


In South Africa, the sport of rugby has so many connotations with the apartheid regime, the liberal outsider watches the country’s team uneasily, wondering what attitudes are harboured behind those impassive faces as the still mostly white players sing the nation’s new national anthem. When I recorded the Rugby World Cup show a few weeks ago, featuring music from seven of the twenty countries that started the competition, I didn’t manage to fit in a track from South Africa. When I decided to include two in this programme, one by an Afrikaans singer-songwriter, the other by a black jazz singer, I had no intuition that South Africa would be the only Southern Hemisphere country to reach the final to be played in the evening of the programme’s first broadcast. [Since this show was recorded comes the tragic news of the death of the South African reggae star, Lucky Dube.]

Gert Vlok Nel
[photo courtesy ]

When I played this song by Gert Vlok Nel before, I received many emails enquiring how to get hold of the song in which the singer wistfully recalls his affair with a woman who now seems happily married to somebody else. What conclusion should I draw from the observation that every email was from a woman?

Simphiwe Dana

Simphiwe Dana is one of many young black South Africans who walk a line between gospel and jazz, accompanied by musicians who apparently draw inspiration from American hotel bands. The rousing and touching ‘Bantu Biko Street’ is the only track on the album not blighted by dreaded electric piano.

Image Image
Va Fan Fahre [photo courtesy ]; Aïcha Haskal [photo courtesy ]

Opening the show is a brass band from Flemish Belgium, Va Fan Fahre, whose album’s title track features a female singer from Morocco, Aïcha Haskal. It sounds as if they recorded everything in one go, and the unusual combination is very effective.

Youssou N’Dour
[photo courtesy ]

Youssou N’Dour’s album starts so unpromisingly, with a track that has mistaken ambitions to be a pop song, the listener’s heart sinks. But perseverance brings rewards, particularly in the five tracks featuring Malian ngoni player, Bassekou Kouyate. ‘Dabbax’ is the gem, buried inexplicably far down the running order at 9. But once you know that’s a pleasure in store, the rest of the album comes into focus and turns out to be Youssou’s best for many years. But be sure to stop before the last track, a horrible concoction involving Neneh Cherry and her husband producer Cameron McVey, who mistakenly try to recreate the magic of their 1994 collaboration, ‘7 Seconds’. Let’s be kind and simply report that they don’t succeed.

Joe Zawinul [photo courtesy ]

After a long career as a jazz musician, including writing and playing keyboards for Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley, in the early 1990s the Austrian musician Joe Zawinul put together a band of all nations that toured the world to great acclaim. By all accounts, the ensemble was more effective live than on record, but the 1996 album My People had its moments. Among his team at the time was teenage bass player from Cameroon, Richard Bona, and the Turkish-Armenian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Arto Tuncboyaciyan. Joe died in September at the age of 75 and we mark his passing by playing ‘Erdäpfee Blues (Potato Blues)’ in which Joe sang wordlessly but evocatively, surely influenced by the style of band member Arto.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:49 pm
by Charlie
email from

1. betty barrett, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Thank you for your delightful show. I never fail to stop what I'm doing to listen more closely to something you play. It is quite fascinating to hear the intriguing sounds of music that I would otherwise never know about.


2. Tim Russell, Denmark


You're right- a very eerie, haunting, but yet catching song.

How can I hear Gert Vlok Nel's song again or get a copy?




3. Virginia MacFadyen,London,UK

Fabulous song! (see belos) Where can I get this CD? If you know, I would be very thankful if you would tell me: This is the one. Heard it early Monday in London after 1am.
Thank you!
Country: South Africa
Title: Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes
Artist: Gert Vlok Nel
CD Title: Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes
Label: Munich
Cat. Number: MRCD 281

CG reply:

I'm hoping somebody connected to the record will post details of distributors in this forum under 'new CD'


4. Eddie Ward, Llandrindod Wells, Wales

Just discovered your programme.What a beautiful song "beautiful in beaufort-wes" I love this type of country music. Keep up the good work

Eddie Ward.


5. andy, isle of man

hello charlie gillet, twice in the last few months i've woken in the wee small hours to the hauntingly melodic "beautiful in beaufort-wes"

thank you for this gem,




I think youssou d'dour still have it in him, "DABBAX" is the perfect illustration of the path to take if he still want to keep us interested.


7. willem steytler, obuasi, ghana

Hi, I am a south african staying in ghana and really enjoyed listening to beautiful in beaufort-wes.

thanx willem.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:32 pm
by nikki akinjinmi
As Simphiwe Dana's Bantu Biko Street was playing I was thinking of those old Hollywood movies with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers dancing along. Strange thought to have I suppose.