ZACKS (ISAAC) NKOSI was a legend in his own time. His name was, and still is, a household word throughout the country.
The reason for Zacks' tremendous popularity was that he played his own sax, he had his own distinctive style and he wrote his own music. He had a highly individual style that made him streets ahead of all his contemporaries in the same field. He had the ability to interpret any harmonic structures of a given melody and leave the listener wondering how any one man can be so gifted. He had tremendous creativeness and yet played with such simplicity, this is reflective on all his past recordings.
Zacks could play any type of music - from progressive jazz, to pop ,to pure improvisation. He could also play with equal dexterity indigenous music, such as mbaqanga which again is reflective of the maestro's gift of song, versatility and fingering dexterity.
In our limitless world of "AFRICAN JAZZ" we cannot but applaud the singularity of this giant jazzman who had dedicated his life to uplifting the standard of his native repertoire, "OUR KIND OF JAZZ".
His son, Jabu, is just as gifted as his father, and his piano and organ playing on this album enhances the quality beyond belief.
We proudly present this musical legend of more than three decades and are confident that his music will linger eternally in the minds of his thousands of fans.
Produced by Hamilton Nzimande
Recorded by Peter Ceronio
Recorded July 30, 1976
Recorded October 20, 1975
According to Rob Allingham, the 1975-76 sessions were Zacks Nkosi's last before his death in 1978 (Huskisson has his death on April 5th, 1980) and were released as two albums. The second, Our Kind of Jazz '77 was repackaged after Nkosi's death and retitled: A Tribute to Zacks Nkosi — Our Kind of Jazz Vol.1, the album pictured here.
This album should not be confused with another classic record, Our Kind of Jazz which was Zacks Nkosi's first formal album consisting of a compilation of tracks that were originally released between 1956 and 1964 on 78 rpm.
Zack's Nkosi, a legend of early African jazz and mbaqanga, was born in Alexandra township, Johannesburg in 1925. He received his first saxophone at the age of 15 and soon was performing with the Havana Group. After working with the Blue Diamond Jazz Band, Nkosi was invited to audition at the Bantu Men's Social Centre for Solomon Zuluboy Cele's Jazz Maniacs, the premium jazz band of it's time. He joined the Maniacs in 1940 and soon became their leading saxophonist. According to Yvonne Huskisson, after Cele's death in 1944, Nkosi became the Maniacs leader, though this account is contradicted by Horst Bergmeier who maintained that Wilson Silgee assumed leadership of the group. Silgee would go on to form his own group, King Force Silgee's Jazz Forces, and it is notable that Nkosi also performed with this group.
In 1956 Nkosi formed two groups, Zacks and his Sextet and the City Jazz Nine, to concentrate primarily on commercial recordings.
This album features some of South Africa's most prominent musicians, including amongst others, Barney Rachabane, Sipho Gumede and Jabu Nkosi (Zack's son).
The Masterpiece reissue label incorrectly dates the original issue as 1974, however the African Classics reissue gives the exact dates of the two sessions as well as all the performers involved.