Jan 3, 2011

The Zola Kids - H Hola H Hola

A rare African jazz gem to wish all visitors to Electric Jive a fantastic 2011. This 1976 album by "The Zola Kids" presents a smoking horn section which almost certainly includes Dennis Mpale on trumpet and Ntemi Piliso on saxophone - five of the nine compositions come from these two masters.

The album art is by AK Ally, the man responsible for designing the As-Shams (Sun) label. The clenched fists and open palms suggest that this was drawn after June 1976. The music is however mellow marabi-tinged jazz with a ‘pinch’ of mbaqanga.

Thanx to electricjive!


Dennis Mpale:

The late Dennis Mpale was one of South Africa's greatest trumpet players. Chronologically, he entered the picture shortly after Hugh Maskela and worked with artists from Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa to Mackay Davashe and Kippie Moeketsi. Like many of the musicians of his generation, Mpale left South Africa to live in exile in London, not returning til the early 1990s.

Edmund Ntemi Piliso (1925-2000):

Saxophonist Edmund Ntemi Piliso helped shape and develop South African jazz. Along with his trumpeter brother, Shadrack, he contributed to the creation of the distinct sound of early South African jazz in the 1950s, achieved by bringing together the influence of American jazz, especially big band jazz, with more traditional African influences.

His Alexandra All-Star Band was an essential part of the jazz scene in the early 1950s in Sophiatown, a black community whose existence irked apartheid authorities. In 1955, the government forcibly removed Sophiatown’s black residents, and the township was razed to make way for a whites-only suburb.

Piliso later joined the celebrated African Jazz Pioneers group (one of their most famous compositions, “Sip n' Fly”, is a humorous ode to sneaking alcohol past the apartheid police). The band were finally able to travel abroad after the fall of apartheid and the lifting of the international cultural boycott of South Africa in 1990, and appeared in jazz clubs and festivals in Europe, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere in Africa.

He died after a long illness related to complications of diabetes.



1. Hhola Hhola (C.B. Matiwane)
2. Get Moving (N. Nxumalo)
3. Shona Phansi (C.B. Matiwane)
4. Dennis the Menace (D. Mpale)
5. Mpale Special (D. Mpale)
6. Mhlobo Mdala (D. Mpale)
7. This is the Way (E. Piliso)
8. Ndlali Special (E. Nxumalo)
9. Mshovo (E. Piliso)

1 comment:

  1. We are requesting your assistance in locationg C B Matiwane the producer of Shona Phansi and Hhola Hhola

    Our Contanct Details (031 - 260 3258)
    082 505 3989 South Africa
    e-mail address: dube@ukzn.ac.za

    Your urgent assistance in locating him will be highly appreciated.