Township Jive & Kwela Jazz (1940–1960) is a stellar 16-track collection of South African recordings compiled by DJ, record producer, and music blogger Eddy de Clercq. The songs you’ll find here are drawn from 78-rpm discs owned by the International Library of African Music (ILAM), in Grahamstown, South Africa. De Clercq spent two years poking around the archives and whittling down his selections (which lean heavily toward the 1960 side of the spectrum). You’ll hear the very young Miriam Makeba (with the Skylarks), Doris Mkhize (with the Cement Mixers), and other great groups, including the Harmony Crew Shirts (you can download a song of theirs by clicking on the link below). This is joyous, irrepressible stuff, which sounds much fresher in its original incarnation than it ever did in American appropriations (yes, Paul Simon, we’re talking to you!).
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