Blame it on the Boers
South Africa had a thriving jazz scene in the first half of the 20th Century. However, with the formalization of the Apartheid system, the opportunities began to shrink. The official black radio stations were focused exclusively on "native" music, and the white musicians unions agitated to close down professional opportunities for African musicians.
Johnny Mbizo Dyani was one of several musicians who left their home behind to seek musical and political freedom abroad. He left South Africa when his group, the Blue Notes, played a gig at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1964.
In the next twenty years, Dyani played with a star-studded list of artists (see his bio on AllMusic.com for at least a partial checklist) and led a number of his own groups. He died suddenly in 1986 at the Berlin Jazz Festival.
In a memorial published in the South African magazine Rixaka, Pallo Jordan writes, "above all, his music resounded with a joy in life." (A while back in a fit of compulsion, I stitched the scanned pages linked earlier into a single PDF)
For this post, we have one track from Mbizo as a leader, and another from one of my all-time favorite of his collaboration gigs.