Chris Albertyn and his collaborators at Electric Jive have put more scarce 1960s and 70s South African music back into digital circulation than anyone else by a long chalk. Dozens of exceptional South African jazz LPs can be found here, from out of print classics to near mythical obscurities, and the entire Ian Huntley archive of 60s and 70s photographs and live Cape Town jazz recordings will soon be available too. Early jazz posts from the ground breaking Matsuli blog have been integrated into this website – Matsuli’s Matt Temple is a contributor – as Matsuli itself has morphed into a record label specialising in South African jazz rarities and classics.
Artist Siemon Allen’s online archive is an ever expanding treasure trove of record covers, sleeve notes and discographic details. The associated blog, where Allen can be found doggedly following the tangled threads of South Africa’s music history, is a small marvel in its own right.
Notes: The South African Jazz Exiles
If you ever wanted to know anything about the Blue Notes or Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath, you’ll probably find it carefully buried somewhere on Mike Fowler’s compendious, labour of love blog.
African Music Archive Project
Part of DISA, an online South African history resource, the South African Music Archive Project gathers together recordings from a selection of private and public music collections, including the collections of author and 78-era expert Chris Ballantine, the International Library of African Music, anti-apartheid record label, Shifty Records, and others.
Scholar and musician Jonathan Eato’s Jazz In South Africa research site is a work in progress, but it already contains some fascinating recorded interviews, and promises to develop into a rich and original resource. It’s also probably the only place in the world you can find a new Tete Mbambisa album.
Another blog-turned-label, Soul Safari’s backbone has been its strong South African posts. A recent collaboration with the Hugh Tracey-founded International Library of African Music has resulted in two great collections of 1950s jazz and jive.
Musician profiles across the spectrum of modern South African music, including a good amount of jazz related information.