We had the SA pianist Hotep Idris Galeta in town this past week at my place (til my landlords decided that I can't have guests for extended periods...stupid damn lease), as he did a duo piano concert at Shutters Cafe with Onaje Allan Gumbs. Turn-out was a bit weak, but the weather was terrifying, so I suppose that's understandable.
The fine news was that we recorded one of the nights of music, and will be releasing it in the next year or two. As you know, duo piano recordings are fairly rare, and this one is particularly special. I have high hopes for the album.
If you haven't heard Hotep, he's worth tracking down. He has a solo album out on Sheer Sound called Malay Tone Poem
. It features fine musicians like Marcus Wyatt and Zim Ngqawana, and is a tremendously underrated album.
Stateside, you may know Hotep from his work with Jackie McLean, notably on Dynasty
and on Rites of Passage
. He's also with Hotep's son, Rene, on the album Live in South Africa
. Then he played with Hugh Masekela, Hadley Caliman, David Crosby, etc etc etc.
What had been interesting for me, having him in town, was the span of his music. I had known him from Malay Tone Poems
and his albums with Jackie, primarily, so I always thought of him as a highly creative, Cape-style straight-ahead musician. And I was proven very, very, very wrong. His demo tape for his next album incorporates some mbaqanga, some smooth jazz, some Take 6 style gospel harmonizing...the whole gamut. It might annoy purists, but the music is excellent, and man, does Hotep have his ear to the ground for new styles.
So do check him out - he is crazy hip.