Basil Mannenberg Coetzee - Shrimp Boats LP
Label: We Are Busy Bodies
Assembling unreleased recordings from 1979 and 1980, Shrimp Boats is a South African jazz archival compilation from 1987 that showcases an epic side-long title track featuring saxophonist Basil "Mannenberg" Coetzee. The recording was made during pianist Lionel Pillay's November 1979 session with Coetzee for the As-Shams/The Sun album Plum and Cherry. Side Two is composed of material recorded in September 1980 from the session for Lionel Pillay's Deeper in Black album. The 1951 pop standard "Shrimp Boats" was first given its unlikely jazz arrangement by Abdullah Ibrahim (recording as Dollar Brand) in 1971. Pillay and Coetzee take this seed of an arrangement to its furthest reaches with their mesmerizing performance. Although the title track casts a big shadow, Pillay's "Slow Blues for Orial" is a welcome original composition on the flip side, standing next to a cover of Mankunku's "Yakhal 'Inkomo" from 1968 (featuring saxophonists Barney Rachabane and Duke Makasi) and a nod to the contemporaneous jazz fusion scene with a take on Weather Report's "Birdland" from 1977.