Album: The Chris McGregor Septet, Up To Earth (Fledg'ling)

Recorded around the same time (1969) as the recently reissued Brotherhood Of Breath albums, but never previously released, Up To Earth features similar combinations of top UK jazzers (bassist Danny Thompson and sax men John Surman and Evan Parker) with the remnants of pianist Chris McGregor’s expatriate South African band (trumpeter Mongezi Feza, saxist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Louis Moholo).

The four blasts of semi-improvised jazz that resulted demonstrate the symbiosis at work between the Europeans’ free-jazz intensity and the Africans’ more joyously euphoric sensibilities.

There are echoes of Sun Ra in the horn figures of “Years Ago Now”, while the unison riff of “Up To Earth” recalls Bird’n’Diz’s “Salt Peanuts” in its brash good humour.