Bheki Mseleku was an exiled South African musician who throughout his life worked, recorded and shared

the stage with the likes of Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, Eddie Parker, Joe Henderson, Abbey Lincoln, Elvin Jones, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins (Ornette Coleman’s famous rhythm section) and Ravi Coltrane. Born in March 1955 in Natal, Mseleku was a completely self-taught musician and could play piano, saxophone, guitar as well as sing and arrange. His two main instruments were piano and saxophone , and was usually compared to Mccoy Tyner and fellow South African Abdullah Ibrahim for his piano style. After playing for a few local Johannesburg bands, Bheki left South Africa and moved to Botswana, London and Sweden, before finally moving back to London where he settled down in 1985. Ronnie Scott, owner of his own famous Jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s, was very vocal and public about this new talent from Africa, and highly publicised Mseleku’s debut run of gigs at the iconic club. Mseleku performed that string of gigs totally unaccompanied, and played piano with a saxophone on his lap, and often played the two together. Those gigs caused him to explode as a star on the London scene, and international touring Jazz stars often made a point of watching him perform whilst they were in London. After that, Mseleku found himself shying away from the spotlight, as well as all the labels like “black” , “exiled” and “South African” which he found stuck on him. He stopped performing for two years and instead chose to teach music and spend the majority of his time in a Buddhist temple during that period. Recorded 6 albums: Celebration (World Circuit, 1991) Meditations (Verve Records, 1992) Timelessness (Verve, 1993) Star Seeding (Polygram Records, 1995) Beauty of Sunrise (Polygram, 1997) Home at Last (Sheer Sound, 2003) In 1992 he recorded his first album “Celebration” as well as released a live recording entitled “Meditations”. (Play Angola. Talk) Angola composed by Mseleku, Celebration album recorded in England in 1991. Michael Bowie – Bass Marvin Smith – Drums Mseleku – piano/ saxophone Eddie Parker – flute Thebe Lipere – percussion

which starts off quiet and sweet and ends similarly to the B section. He is survived by a wide extended family including his brother Langa. Features a lot of loud hits. Harmonically. most of which are based off various melodic minor modes.The Song has four distinct sections. The drums are holding a beat typical of western central Africa. the B section. The section is repeated with harmonic and melodic variation and Mseleku takes a short piano solo over the section. tenor saxophone and trumpet. and though his severe diabetes sometimes hampered his playing life and worsened. the track exhibits an interesting blend of South African and South American influences. more South African feel. and the chords in the solo section. South African-sounding groove. his sister Millicent. The solos by Eddie parker on Flute and Mseleku on piano both follow a decidedly modal feel. The song from the beginning has a warmer. Mseleku had returned to England to find more regular work in 2006. · Bheki Mseleku died in September 9 2008 . drums. and is harmonically less complex than a lot of his earlier stuff. The bass plays the root notes and often makes use of anticipation similar to the piano to help drive the song forward. “Home at Last”. reminiscent of a South American samba. with the snare hits on the and of two suggesting a South African township flavour too. Harmonically it has two II-V’s which Mseleku often expands upon with his comping. which goes through various tonal centers and odd time signatures. The A section in C minor. He was about to go back to South Africa for concerts. The B section focuses less on groove and is a further variation on the progression. bass. and each trade choruses and then eventually fours. which is prevalent throughout. in 4/4. and the focus of the tune seems to be on building harmonic tension as well as maintaining a steady. The track features piano. Rhythmically. at the time of his death. Recorded in South Africa with an array of local musicians and was the album closest to his roots. The contrasting C section. have an exotic feel to them. The various instruments take turns soloing over the two sections The drums and bass are relatively constant throughout the tune. The C section is a further variation on the A section. As the section is repeated and builds. the tune then kicks in with a distinctively South African groove. The A section is warm. Beginning with just piano. “Belinda Ananda”. Solo section. groovy and melodic. The melody is simple both harmonically and rhythmically. D section. and seven children. with the harmonised horns playing lines that ascend and help to build to the tension. it seemed to be under control. the two horns also harmonise slow descending lines to make an interesting wallpaper over which the melody is played on piano. including a gig at Johannesburg's Bassline club. the head follows very conventional Jazz harmony. The bass holds a I-V bass line throughout most of the song. In 2003 Mseleku released his final album.