Johnny M. Dyani

'I can play jazz, but first and foremost I play black music. We have a message. Louis Armstrong had it, Ellington had it and Gillespie has it. It can be political, sociological, economic, it can be about the good times or the bad times. It is our way of communicating. You don't have to read big books about a country or a people to know what they want. Listen to the music and you will know what they have to say'. Johnny M. Dyani

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In the early 1970s, Dyani made his music even more ‘African’, beginning to vocalise while playing, thus expressing, in an increasingly obvious way, the intimate connection he had with his own continent.
In 1972 he moved to Denmark where he met pianist Dollar Brand, and the two of them toured Europe together in 1973. It was thanks to his association with Ibrahim that Dyani’s music finally came into focus. The double bass player became the bearer of an African-based jazz that was rooted in the folkloric tradition of his country, from which he drew a sense of intense spirituality. Dyani defined his music as sk’enke, a slang word meaning communal sharing.