A double CD of the secret Solo Piano works titled DARKNESS PASS, recorded 1996 in Johannesburg by the late genius Moses Taiwa Molelekwa has been released on April 17th 2004 to coincide with his birthday.
NOTES BY ROBERT TRUNZ
Back in 1994 during the Outernational Meltdown recordings, in the early hours of the morningMoses and I were the only ones left in Downtown Studios in Joburg. Moses settled down at one of the pianos whilst I found a comfortable spot on the floor next to the piano. It was there that I first heard him playing solo piano.
Moses took me on a journey that lasted almost 3 hours, a journey that expanded my horizon and revealed a depth of Moses that few people have ever had the privilege to encounter. It is the soundscapes this young artist drew every time he sat in front of a piano or keyboard that fascinated me from the onset when I first heard him play live in 1993 at The Market Theater in Johannesburg.
That night @ Downtown Studios Taiwa played non stop until the sun came up and it was then that I knew that we had to record a solo album. Believe me it took some convincing as Moses himself was not into the idea initially as he just formed a band with superb young talents. In 1996 I finally persuaded him to secretly go into a locked upSABC Studios to produce a solo project on the grand piano recorded by Peter Thwaites.
That was the first step but he was still reluctant to release it until the end of the year 2000 when he finally changed his mind after having worked with British pianist Joanna McGregor on a duo project in the UK and South Africa. I finally convinced Moses to tour this solo album, to go out and share with the world his remarkable gift but his tragic death in February 2001 put en end to all our plans.
Moses Taiwa Molelekwa had the ability to paint the most beautiful or deeply disturbing world with the piano, so deep and full of expression reflecting his character, his depth and his roots that were firmly planted in African soil. He was a true African piano player and to me will remain my all time favorite. Although the tour never happened Moses began to reveal a glimpse of his immense depth and love of the acoustic piano through his work with Joanna MacGregor. However, nothing will ever come near to what I experienced that night in Down Town Studios in 1994. For that I am eternally grateful, and thank Mosi for an experience that I will never forget, a gift that will remain with me enriching my entire life.
Having informed his father Jerry ‘Monk’ Molelekwa of his decision to release the solo recordings Moses picked up the master tapes in London to compile the CD. Unfortunately these tapes got lost after his death but fate wanted it that unknown to us, Richard Edwards (engineer on Genes and Spirits) had made safety copies of the masters which were kept in a corner of our safe. These copies were presented to Taiwa’s father and mentor Jerry Monk’ Molelekwa on his visit to England in June 2001 to select the tracks and compile this album together with Chris Lewis who did a fine mastering job. Thanks to Peter Thwaites for the recordings and thanks god for having had the privilege to work with such a gentle genius!
A final offering to the world from a man whose genes and spirits will live on forever. RIP