Let It Be Told (Basho Records)

Julian Argüelles

Released April 27, 2015

Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2016 Album of the Year






“Let It Be Told” is Julian Argüelle’s second release in collaboration with the hr big band and his twelfth album as a leader. He chose compositions by South African musicians who fled the apartheid regime in the 1960s and found exile in London. The band Blue Notes around the white pianist Chris McGregor and the colored saxophonist Dudu Pukwana enlivened the English scene with their powerful and accessible music, which reflected the joie de vivre of South African townships.

Julian Argüelles played for five years in McGregor’s big band “Brotherhood of Breath” and thus learned the topics and the South Africans’ understanding of the game first hand. With the exception of McGregor’s “Amasi”, Julian Argüelles rearranged all compositions especially for this project with the hr big band. In this way he was able to put his own stamp on this music without depriving it of its original spirit.

With the highly original keyboardist Django Bates, the two Argüelles brothers were able to win an ally from the days of the legendary “Loose Tubes” for this project.

Track Listing:

1. Mra Khali (Dudu Pukwana) 06:39

solos: D. Bates, J. Argüelles

2. Mama Marimba (Johnny Dyani) 07:18

solos: C. Jaksjö, T. Lakatos

3. Retreat Song (Jikele Maweni) (Miriam Makeba) 07:57

solos: H. Sauerborn, P. Feil, J. Argüelles

4. You Ain’t Gonna Know Me (‘cos You Think You Know Me) (Mongezi Feza) 07:26

solos: O. Leicht, D. Bates

5. Diamond Express (Dudu Pukwana) 05:25

solos: A. Schlosser, J. Argüelles

6. The Wedding (Abdullah Ibrahim) 09:26

solos: R. Heute, H. Sauerborn

7. Amasi (Chris McGregor) 03:39

solos: P. Höchstädter, S. Argüelles

8. Amabutho (Joseph Shabatala) 04:06

9. Come Again (Martha Mdenge / Dudu Pukwana) 04:49

solos: J. Argüelles, A. Schlosser, M. Scales


Julian Argüelles: alto & soprano saxes

Steve Argüelles: drums & percussion

Django Bates: piano & keyboards

Frankfurt Radio Big Band

Heinz Dieter Sauerborn: flute, clarinet, alto sax

Oliver Leicht: clarinet, alto clarinet, tenor sax

Tony Lakatos: tenor sax

Rainer Heute: bass clarinet, baritone sax

Frank Wellert, Thomas Vogel, Martin Auer, Axel Schlosser: trumpets and flugelhorns

Gunter Bollmann, Peter Feil, Christian Jaksjö, Manfred Honetschlager: trombones

Martin Scales: guitar

Thomas Heidepriem: acoustic & electric bass

Jean Paul Hochstadter: drums

Recorded August 14 – 17, 2012, at Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Maim, Germany

Producer: Olaf Stötzler, Hessischer Rundfunk

Recording Engineer and Mixing: Axel Gutzler

Mastering: Djengo Hartlap

Artwork: Yoshiki Bann


Argüelles’ 12th release as leader finds him weaving together the musical skeins that make up his musical mind. This is his second album with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band with whom he’s developed a rewarding collaboration, while the presence of long time pal Django Bates needs no explication. But the rainbow overarching the project is the gorgeous music of the South African exiles who came to Britain 50 years ago and so inspired our scene: Feza, MacGregor, Pukwana, Moholo Moholo, Dyani and others who made up the Blue Notes, and in turn Brotherhood of Breath and Zila with whom the impossibly young Bates and Arguelles played 30 years ago now. Robert Wyatt, who was deeply hurt by Feza’s lonely death, has described this group of musicians as “having a great time in Europe as celebrated jazz musicians but they’d lost their roots… how incredibly unfair”. It would of course be stretching a point to say Bates and Argüelles are also exiles (they’d see themselves as being on an international scene that transcends borders) especially as the saxophonist is back in the big smoke, it’s a shade sad Bates can’t ply his trade regularly in Blighty. But in the meantime we have Argüelles’ joyous rearrangements of music that shines as bright now as it did in the different days of the 1960s. Enjoy, celebrate, and dance in Frankfurt, Cape Town and Frith Street. And never forget.

Andy Robson (Jazzwise)