World Seven release collectors’ jazz gem: Pacific Express’ ‘On Time’

World Seven continue their fine foray into world music classics with another hard-to-find jazz classic from South Africa in 1978. Besides the success in southern Africa this album became a regional hit as a pirated music cassette in Nigeria. It was also released in France and Japan.

Pacific Express emerged from Cape Town, South Africa in the 1970s. The band were from the so called ‘Coloured’ community and were ground breakers in both musical and political arenas.

The team at World Seven explains: “On several occasions the group fell foul of Apartheid laws and discrimination by the state broadcaster, SABC. On one occasion they were asked to leave the stage of an international tour by Australian act John Paul Young, because the law forbade racially mixed performers on the same stage. The promoter, management and band members all resisted and once the incident made the Australian newspapers the authorities had little choice and turned a blind eye.”

This album features founding members Paul Abrahams (bass), Jack Momple (drums) and Issy Ariefdien (guitar) and were joined by Chris Schilder (piano), Vic Higgins (pecussion), Barney Rachabane (alto sax), Stompie Manana (trumpet) and Zayn Adams amd Kitty Tshikana on vocals for this second album.

The band would go on to record one further LP in 1979 and a single in 1981. They carried on performing past that and their years together as a band acted as central hub for jazz musicians within the Cape Town area. Players such as Tony Cedras, Jonathan Butler and Alvin Dyers were able to gain experience alongside established names.

This World Seven release follows the sublime reissue of Michel Sardaby’s Gail LP.

Michel Sardaby reissue of holy grail deep jazz is first outing for World Seven

Heads up for this sublime album of rhodes and piano led jazz for new offshoot World Seven. The parent label Africa Seven has been providing supreme reissues of a French connection for a while. Now the Paris and London based crew have joined forces with a new collective of crate diggers to expand their remit.

Sardaby was a child prodigy on the piano. He was born in Fort de France, Martinique in the French West Indies in 1935. Throughout the 60s, he played piano with blues musicians like Sonny Boy Williamson and T-Bone Walker, at the same time beginning to release more jazz-focused solo albums. Gail was recorded in New York in 1975 with Billy Hart (a McCoy Tyner alumni) on drums, Richard Davis on bass and Leopold Flemming on percussion. Michel himself is on keys and delivers one of the great performances throughout on his instrument.

According to the World Seven collective, the album itself has been remastered specially for vinyl and pressed (at the request of Michel himself) on heavyweight vinyl.