South African Jazz Holy Grail

Tete’s Big Sound was released in the 1970s, a golden era for indigenous South African jazz music. It was the debut album attributed to pianist Tete Mbambisa as a solo artist, released in 1976 on the independent As-Shams/The Sun label. By the mid-1970s, Mbambisa was already an arranger, seasoned composer, bandleader, and performer—a musician at the pinnacle of his talents who had meticulously honed his craft to make his unforgettable breakthrough.

Mbambisa has just published a series of live recordings in collaboration with the Music Research Center at the University of York. Tete Mbambisa, who will be 80 in 2022, resides in Cape Town and continues to amaze crowds with sporadic exclusive performances.

Mad About Records’ 2021 edition of Tete’s Big Sound, reprinted in conjunction with Tete Mbambisa and As-Sham/The Sun, is the song’s first foreign publication.

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