By :
David Max BROWN
South Africa, 1998
52 min
Come on a journey to the root of Malombo music, and to the emergence in 1964 of The Malombo Jazz Men, who are now in their late sixties but still producing music and challenging the public to listen up.
Abbey Cindi, Julian Bahula and Philip Tabane, by creating the Malombo sound, established Africa once again as the seed core of international jazz, and inspired a generation of musicians to follow in their footsteps.

Vusi Mahlasela, now an international star in his own right,  makes a personal performance and talks freely of his influence from Malombo music, “..we must touch the past to connect to the present so we can make love to the future”.

Witness the rise to international fame of Philip Tabane, who reaches new acclaim as each new decade dawns. In 1998, he became known as ‘Dr. Malombo’, after being awarded an honorary doctorate in music,  and in the same year won the  prize for best single at the South African Music Awards.

Follow the journey of Julian Bahula,  to a life of exile in England, and the formation of ‘Jabula’, a band that fused the African spirit of Malombo music with the London jazz scene.

Visit the township of Mamelodi, to find Abbey Cindi, battling to pay his rent, but still playing with a deep down soul that typifies the spirit of Malombo music. “There is no comfort for musicians”, says Abbey- “Especially us Jazz musicians”

Venture into the garages and halls of the townships around Pretoria and see young musicians groomed by Abbey Cindi and by frequent visitor Julian Bahula.  Share the moment as Philip Tabane,  plays with his son Thabang, and as Doctor Malombo enthralls the audience at the Freedom Park in Mamelodi on a stage set alight by Moss Mogale, a guitarist who has followed in Tabane’s footsteps and created his own inimitable jazz sound. “Malombo music for me is like a big tree, with Julian and Philip and Abbey at the root of it and all these other musicians that have grown from it…” , Liza Bahula (artist).