Ndikho Xaba And The Natives - s/t LP
Ndikho Xaba left South Africa in 1964, an exile from his homeland who eventually found a home in San Francisco’s vibrant spiritual jazz scene of the late 60s. A songwriter, bandleader, pianist, and inventor of percussion and woodwind instruments, Xaba played alongside contemporaries like Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, and Sun Ra. But it was on the single album he recorded in the US, released in an edition of just 500 copies in 1971, that Xaba realized his unique vision.
Backed by a band that included Plunky Branch and Lon Moshe (Oneness of Juju and Black Fire label), Xaba bridged the Black Atlantic, connecting the music of Africa with the most brilliant lights of the Diaspora, and drawing a line between the Black Power movement of the US and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Across five songs, Xaba and the band move through spiritual invocations, wrenching soul, and dizzying layers of rhythm knocked out on homemade instruments. The album is a critical political and historical document, and one of our favorite spiritual jazz albums of all time.