jump to navigation

Julian Bahula Discography October 25, 2008

Posted by wallofsound in Discography, Jazz.

Julian Sebothane Bahula

South African-born, often UK-based percussionist, band leader, record label owner and concert promoter, Bahula has produced some lovely music over the years. All his records are worth owning (if you can find them) but the studio recordings never quite capture the live experience. I first came across Bahula’s music in the late 1970s, probably initially through his Thunder Into Our Hearts LP, which I heard at the radio station I was working on. The record was being promoted heavily by Virgin records, as part of their slew of reggae, afrorock and afrobeat records released at the time.. It was a couple of years until I saw him live, and he was often involved in events run by the Anti-Apartheid Movement. A much smaller-scale concert in the early 1980s at Manchester’s Band on the Wall will go down as one of my favourite live sets of all time. I can’t find a full discography, so here’s a start at one that aspires to (but is currently far from) comprehensiveness. Additional information most welcome. He has his own website at www.jabulamusic.com

He seems to have started his professional career as a member of The Malombo Jazz Men in the township of Mamelodia, Pretoria, South Africa. In late 1960s the band was made up of Philip Tabane (guitar and other instruments), Abe [Abbey?] Cindi (flute) and Julian Bahula (percussion). It was here that Bahula started playing the cow-hide malombo drums, and the group, as the name suggests, produced a traditionally-based, but jazz infused music: “the whistling swing of the dusty township, the rumble of the distant ancestral spirits & the confusion of the city’s bright neon rainbows, as reflected in the electric Ghetto Guitar” (source) Their music can be heard on a recently released CD from the 1964 Castle Lager Jazz Festival where the group won first prize.

Malombo Jazz Men Castle Lager Jazz Festival 1964
released 2006 (Sheer Sound)

Malombo Jazz Men
1. Foolish Fly
2. Your Neighbour
3. Chief’s Kraal
4. Blues For You
5. Zandile
6. Malombo Men’s Prayer

Early Mabuza Quartet
7. Little Old Man
8. Perseverance
9. The Idea
10. Just That Way
11. Barney’s Way

Malombo split in to 2 groups in 1966 – Philip Tabane keeping the name Malombo Jazz Men (later shortened to (Malombo) and replacing Bahula with Gabriel ‘Mabi’ Thobejane. Bahula and Cindi created the Malombo Jazz Makers using Lucky Ranku on guitar (source). There’s a Malombo discography at http://matsuli.blogspot.com/2008/11/music-of-spirit.html

1967 Malompo Jazz – Malompo Jazz (Gallotone)

Abbey Cindi (flute)
Lucky Ranku (guitar)
Julian Bahula (drums)

1. Abbey’s Mood
2. Lullaby for Angels
3. Grab this for me
4. Emakhaya
5. Blues after lunch
6. Babelo
7. Intandane
8. A Tribute to Birds
9. Root of Africa
10. Vuma Mbari
11. Lousy Fever
12. Jikeleza

I’ve taken this information from electricjive, where the full sleeve notes are posted.

1971 Malombo Jazz Makers Volume 2 (Continental?)

Abbey Cindi (flute)
Lucky Ranku (guitar)
Julian Bahula (drums)

Ngivul Ele
Soul of Africa
Jolly Journey
Abbey’s Body
Malomb I Walk

I added this LP after it was posted at electricjive, and there’s no other information on the recording, but there is some good stuff on what happened to Philip Tabane.

In his biography Bahula says he came to Britain in 1973 with the SA prog-afro-rock band Jo’burg Hawk, although he doesn’t seem to have recorded with them. He returned to making music with Lucky Ranku, and extended beyond the Malombo trio to form Jabula; a multi-national band playing SA-inspired jazz. This band produced three LPs:

1975 Jabula Jabula (Virgin)

Vicky Busiswe Mhlongo (vocals)
Maureen Koto Lembede (backing vocals)
Dudu Pukwana (sax)
Eddie Quansah (trumpet)
Geroge Larnyoh (sax & flute)
Peter Van Der Puije (baritone sax)
Ken Eley (sax)
Jean Alain Roussel (keyboards)
Madumetja Ranku (guitar & percussion)
Mogotsi Mothle (bass)
Graham Morgan (drums & percussion)
Sebothane Bahula (african drums & percussion)
Willy Cheetham (congas & percussion)

1. Jabula Happiness
2. Baile – They Are Gone
3. Listen To Me Crying
4. Naledi
5. Badishi – Herdboys
6. Thandi
7. Siakala – We Are Sad
8. Our Fathers
9. Let Us Be Free

1976 Jabula Thunder Into Our Hearts (Virgin)

A1 Thunder Into Our Hearts
A2 Soweto My Love
A3 Ithumeleng Ba Mamelodi”
B1 Tears Of Afrika
B2 Baleka – Run Away
B3 Journey To Afrika
B4 Harvest Part II

1978 Jabula – Afrika Awake (Varagram)

the cover features photographs of Bahula in Amsterdam, and anti-Apartheid demonstrations in the same city.

Terri Quaye,
Graham Morgan [Australia] (drums)
Ken Ely [UK]
Bob Howes [UK]
Dave Defries [UK]
Lucky Ranku [SA]
Pinise Saul [SA]
Ernest Mothle [SA]
Mike Rose [Caribbean] ((alto saxophone, flute)
Steve Scipio [Caribbean] (bass)

Rose and Scipio had been members of Uk afrofunk band Cymande.

A1 Afrika Awake
A2 Thunder
A3 Mathome
A4 Sorrows
B1 Soweto My Love
B2 Soweto’s Children
B3 Sia Kala
B4 I Know My Way
B5 Raining In Amsterdam

1979 Jabula African Soil (Plane)

dnk Jabula Zuid-Afrikaanse Muziek

1982 Jabula – Jabula With Me (Plane)

1982 Jazz Afrika Son of the Soil (Tsafrika 001)

Michael Nielson (flute, tenor, soprano saxophone)
Mervyn Africa (piano)
Lucky Ranku (guitar)
Roberto Bellatalla (bass)
Chucho Merchan (bass)
Peter Segona (trumpet)
Alan Jackson (drums)
Julian Bahula (Malombo drums)

A1 Molebatsi
A2 Tribute To Our People
A3 What’s Wrong With Jazz!!
B1 Woza Cindi
B2 Son Of The Soil
B3 Morwa Bahula

1983 Jazz Afrika – African Sounds For Mandela (Tsafrika)

1999 Julian Bahula Featuring Chico Freeman Wind Of Change

Chico Freeman
Peter Lemer
Geoff Castle
Micky Jacques

1. Wind Of Change [5.18]
2. Make It Happen [5.13]
3. Tribute To You [4.52]
4. Mandela Village [6.12]
5. Back To The Soil [4.55]
6. Heita Cindi [5.07]
7. Time For Afrika, Part 1 [6.10]
8. Mamelodi Moods [8.18]

Julian Bahula got in touch to tell me this is only available in South Africa on Gallo. He’s looking for UK release if any one is interested.

2007 Jabula Julian Bahula Live Again

1. Uya Hamba
2. Sechaba The People
3. I’m Up And About
4. Live Again Bahula
5. Joy Of A Nation
6. Images Of Magubane
7. Changes Of The Wind
8. Bahula Bahula
9. Mamelodi Revisited
10. Tears For OR Tambo
11. Heita Cindi
12. The Woman Next To Me

Julian Bahula got in touch to tell me this is only available in South Africa on Gallo. He’s looking for UK release if any one is interested.



1. matt - November 27, 2008

Theres a wonderful pic of Julian and the Hawk band members dresed in skins midst the London cold over at the South African reissue label Retrofresh. I’ll try and insert it here but if that doesn’t work try this url:

haydn - August 7, 2011

Great picture.Cheers for link

2. matt - November 27, 2008

“I remember the first big press interview we did in London. It was bitterly cold and we did a photo shoot for one of the papers wearing only the skimpy tribal regalia we wore during our stage act. The story appeared under the headline: The tribe who fled to freedom, neatly summing up the exhilaration and new found freedom Hawk found in London.” Julian Laxton, guitarist from Hawk

Jo’Burg Hawk (1973)
from Melody Maker, 26 May 1973

Dave Ornellas: Lead Vocals
Mark “Spook” Kahn: Guitar
Les Goode: Bass
Julian Laxton: Guitar
Ivor Back: Drums
Audrey Motaung: Vocals
Julian Bahula: Percussion, vocals
Billy Mashigo: Percussion, vocals
Pete Kubheka: Percussion, vocals

3. Julian Bahula & Jabula -a call for freedom 1979 « Soul Safari - October 3, 2011

[…] discography(not complete) can be found here Share this:ShareEmailFacebookPrintTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: