SPAZA is a South African Jazz Collective. UPRIZE! is the new album which will be out on October 16th via Mushroom Hour Half Hour. Improvised over several days along to projected footage from the unfinished (at the time) documentary (also titled UPRIZE!) about the 1976 Soweto uprising.
The resulting record continues the magic of their initial LP, with a deeper and more mournful sound that honors those who lost their lives fighting against apartheid.
Part of the principle of SPAZA is that the lineup shifts each time, so you’ll note that while the rhythm section of bassist Ariel Zamonsky and percussionist Gontse Makhene remains intact, Malcolm Jiyane (piano/trombone/vocals) and Nonku Phiri (vocals) have stepped in for the first time here. Audio from the documentary is also included on some tracks.
We already shared “Sizwile”; “Xolile Mosi” is a new excerpt.
Here’s some quotes about the track from the artists:
“The stand-out [for me was] the last day [of the recording sessions], where the footage that was closest to the 1976 uprising was showcased to us … We were asked to create a piece that was a tribute to [Langa-based pupil Xolile Mosi, who was one of the first to be slain by the police when the protests spread to other parts of the country]... It took us all a couple of hours to come back after that recording.” ~ Nonku Phiri
“Xolile’s story was shattering. It still stays with me ‘til today … You are simply in awe of how resilient [the protestors] are. You can’t but have that feeling of sadness, of anger, of wanting to avenge. [But] you are in a situation where you are not able to help the person.” ~ Gontse Makhene