Genre-defining 1975 township jazz from South African pioneers • Allen Kwela, the legendary guitarist and composer central to the story of South African jazz, channels Wes Montgomery and overlays home-grown marabi, setting the benchmark for what became known as “70s township jazz”. • Black Beauty features four tracks composed and led by Kwela with a stellar line-up of musicians including Kippie Moeketsi, Barney Rachabane, Gilbert Matthews, Dennis Mpale, Sipho Gumede and others. • First ever vinyl reissue, a deluxe 180g edition with printed inner sleeve pressed at Pallas in Germany. Audio mastered and cut for vinyl by Frank Merritt at The Carvery. • Liner notes by Kwanele Sosibo featuring key musician interviews, new insights and unseen photos. The cream of Johannesburg’s jazz musicians gathered at state-of-the-art Satbel studios to create Black Beauty for the “Soweto” label. Led by guitarist extraordinaire Allen Kwela and featuring the godfather of South African jazz Kippie Moeketsi, the album successfully straddles producer pressure to emulate the commercial success of Abdullah Ibrahim’s Mannenberg, against the musicians’ own impetus to play a jazz they wanted. While the title track “Black Beauty” nods at Ibrahim’s stylings, the magic happens in the three remaining tracks where Kwela and his top-notch band lay down new directions. Producer Patric van Blerk, sounded disappointed when asked about the sessions, saying that Kwela was his usual strong-willed self, unwilling to be nudged towards the pop trends of the day. “He was a monster talent and deserved much more than he got at the time.” Matsuli is proud to restore this special album to its rightful place in the pantheon of South African jazz.