Sad, sad, sad news – the inspirational pianist Bheki Mseleku has died at the age of 53 after a long battle with diabetes.
British jazz fans will remember his compelling concerts here in the late 80s/early 90s when he would sometimes play piano and saxophone simultaneously. He then went back to South Africa and dropped out of the scene, although his SA-recorded album Home At Last marked something of a return to form. Recently he had returned here and had played a few gigs.
He built on the South African piano styles of Abdullah Ibrahim and Chris McGregor while also being hugely influenced by McCoy Tyner – but most of all he was himself, a highly personal composer and improviser whose music always went deep inside and lifted the spirits.
Read a South African newspaper report here.