Brian Butler June 11, 2021

I have a good friend whose living room window view is the majestic Table Mountain on the outskirts of Cape Town. So it was great to find that the jazz of the district is being streamed as part of Brighton Fringe.

Jazz In The Theatre brings together trumpet player Muneeb Hermans, double bassist Steve De Souza, keyboard player Blake Hellaby, drummer  Kirk Bowers and saxophonist Justin Bellairs. Most of what they play in this all-too-short 4o minute session is composed by Hermans and it’s electrifying stuff.

They open with Yet Another Day , with its kind of weary, mellow blues, reminiscent of Miles Davis , and there are virtuoso solos from horn, sax and piano in its 12 minutes.

Song For Behki is a tribute I guess to the late great S African player Bheki Mseleku, and it’ s slow, sad and sonorous with bass and piano spotlighted and ending with a long long sequence of repeated chords.

Mankunku is also a tribute to a great local jazz player .It’s bright, brassy, and almost like a TV theme  tune in its melodic simplicity.

Looking Back, by Hermans, has a muted trumpet opening and again is bluesy and melancholic . Finally One for HP refers to Hanover Park, the scene of a major anti-apartheid protest, and it brings out the best in the combo .

Their chemistry as a group is energising, and this is easy  listening in its truest sense.

You can catch a stream of the show, filmed at the famous 44 on Long Theatre, Cape Town till the end of the Fringe . Ticket at