DUDU PUKWANA, HAN BENNINK, MISHA MENGELBERG
Recorded at the ICP Jubileum, a festival in Uithoorn, Holland, in 1978, Yi Yole brings together the core of the Instant Composers Pool pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink with legendary South African alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana. Longtime member of the Blue Notes, Pukwana was a beloved figure in European free music after he left South Africa in the mid-sixties and settled in London. There he worked with all of the leading lights of free improvised music, recording extensively with the Brotherhood of Breath and eventually releasing LPs under his own leadership before his untimely passing in 1990 at the age of 51. What the three tracks on Yi Yole make clear is how surprisingly well the Dutch and South African sensibilities fit together, an overall relaxed vibe leading to unforeseen directions in the music. Han Bennink ranges far beyond his drum kit and its metallic add-ons, playing trombone, clarinet, and viola; his collage design for the record, as with all ICP productions, is brilliant and perfectly matched to the music. This is the only time these three prime movers of free music would record as a trio, hitting just at the moment when the Instant Composers Pool was gaining momentum and South African jazz was growing in international stature. Released on ICP, Mengelberg/Benninks self-produced label, Yi Yole saw limited distribution and attention in its time, but it remains an absolute classic of improvised music, presented here in all its glory with Benninks design, remastered from original tapes, the box of which is reproduced on the interior spread, replete with never-seen hand notations.