CD Review – By Eric Alan – The D.A.J.O (Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra) album Cape Town (2017)
I’ve really been fortunate throughout my broadcast career to meet and interact with so many great musicians from the entire global village, especially those from my own hometown and one such is Guitarist, Teacher, Conductor, Bandleader, Composer and Arranger Darryl Andrews. He is
closing in on retirement from the renowned South African College of Music, UCT’s Jazz Studies Program.
It is very pleasing to be able to write this review of his album, Cape Town by the D.A. Jazz Orchestra, whichhas finally been released. The most exciting aspect of this album is apart from a few of his own compositions it features the music of other equally well known Cape Town composers which include The Late Winston Mankunku Ngozi, The Late Errol Dyers, Professor Mike Campbell, Alvin Dyers and naturally Darryl Andrews too.
The band includes some of his students and friends and in the woodwind section are alto-saxophone and clarinet players Justin Bellairs and Evan Froud, the tenor saxes are played by Zeke Le Grange and Sisonke Xonti, with baritone saxophonist Georgia Jones, The horn section comprises of: on trumpet and flugelhorn Lorenzo Blignaut and Marcelle Adams with Robin Fassie-Kok, and the trombonists includes Justin Sasman, Ryan van der Rheede, Kelly Bell and Ryan Kierman. The rhythm section includes pianist Andrew Ford with acoustic and electric bassist Stephen De Souza and drummer Lumanyno Unity Mzi.
The really heavy-duty work of conducting, composing, transcribing and arranging falling Darryl’s broad shoulders, whilst guest players include Prof Mike Campbell, and both of the Dyers brothers, as do vibraphonist Bronwen Clacherty and flautist Bridget Rene. Darryl is quoted as saying, “Jazz is always changing, and it evolves as we speak. We identified with it, being from oppressed people. Look what jazz was born out of, one of the greatest human atrocities – slavery.” This can be heard in countless composers works since the birth of jazz.
The album as a whole offers a new perspective to what an African Big Band when arranging and transcribing of the original works by Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Errol Dyers, Mike Campbell and Alvin Dyers. Giving a fresh new look at the iconic pieces chosen for the album. Darryl’s own compositions can certainly take pride of place alongside these classics many of which I’ve not heard before and again gives great pleasure to hear and know that his work will finally be heard by jazz lovers, specifically big band aficionados. More power to composing and recording more original material Mr Andrews don’t let us wait for your next offering too long, no matter the bands configuration.
I must add that I rate this album very highly. 4.8 Stars out of 5 – This is an album that must be part of any self-respecting jazz lovers collection.
1 Khanya 6:20
2 Blue Natural 8:17
3 A Song For Bra Des Tutu 7:39
4 Hanepoot 4:21
5 Utopian Sunset 7:47
6 Sugar Shake 6:29
7 Imbodlomane 3:16
8 Wesley Street 4:06
9 Sermon 7:15
Please feel free to contact Darryl at either of the following; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to get your own copy of this exciting album and when you email in your order be sure to ask him to autograph it for you.
The album is also available from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/cape-town/1322945019 and a site I’m not too familiar and is a European based web site named Gobuz check it out at https://www.qobuz.com/ie-en/album/cape-town-darryl-andrews-jazz-orchestra/mjulev7phzkob