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Township Express

A nine-piece music group fusing South African township jazz with funk, spirit and gospel, Township Express were formed in London in 1997 by Lucky Ranku (b. 17 November 1941, South Africa; electric guitar) and Pinese Saul (b. 31 Dec 1944, South Africa; vocals), both long-standing associates of London’s community of exiled Southern African musicians. That they had previously performed in the rings of Chris McGregor and Dudu Pukwana and on the soundtrack towards the film Cry Independence. The music group also features saxophonist Ray Carless, trombonist Fayyaz Viriji and trumpeter Claude Deppa, all previous members from the Jazz Warriors, plus Incognito drummer Richard Bailey and percussionist Thomas Dyani, the kid of Johnny Mbizo Dyani, another South African exile. Fishbone, their debut discharge, featured a cool selection of music constructed by Ranku and Saul, and included tributes to Pukwana (‘Dudu Particular’) and Johnny Dyani (‘Johnny’s Disposition’).

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