Cassettes and Radio

June 22, 2015

When I was a high school kid, I used to make cassette recordings of two shows on WCMU–our community public radio station. I first got in to African music by taping those earliest Afropop shows, back when it had intern Ira Glass.

The other show came on Sunday nights at midnight: “Destination Out”. It was my first real exposure to avant jazz. I first heard the Art Ensemble of Chicago here, and so much more. My favorite of those tapes had a couple of tunes by the great South African piano player Abdullah Ibrahim (aka Dollar Brand). One tune was just so killing, and even though I checked out many of his records, I never found anything I liked quite as much. After some extensive sleuthing, here it is. A record I’ll never own, as it was a short run on a South African label. Presumably the title is a reference to the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. How did that DJ in mid-Michigan land a copy? Amazing, in itself.

Hope you like it!