Kippie Moketsi & Hal Singer

Blue Stompin’

Alto saxophonist Kippie Moketsi was one of the most esteemed musicians to come out of the South African jazz scene. Before his untimely death in 1983 aged 58, he was a key figure in the Jazz Epistles group alongside Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa, all of whom praised Moketsi as the foremost South African jazz musician of their generation.

Blue Stompin’, a previously unavailable recording from 1974, finds Moketsi joined by American tenor saxophonist Hal Singer. The dual horn front line works exquisitely throughout the recording. Singer’s contribution looms large on the standout title track, a swinging blues number that shows the band really stretching out. “Hang On There” is a similarly ebullient number with Singer and Moketsi showcasing their chops and trading bars. “Scrap Iron,” an excellent Duke Pearson cover, slows things down to a ballad pace built around a beautiful, mournful keyboard melody, while “Yes Baby” closes the set out on a soulful note.

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Blue Stompin