Assagai were a London-based Afro-rock quintet comprised of three South African and two Ghanaian musicians. The band released two albums, both in 1971, on the Vertigo “swirl” label. Among the players involved were Blue Notes mainstays Dudu Pukwana, Louis Moholo, and Mongezi Feza, all of whom played concurrently in Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath.

Assagai’s self-titled debut begins with “Telephone Girl,” a song originated that year by English ethno/classical combo Jade Warrior. Members of that band played backup and contributed three songs to the second Assagai album, Zimbabwe, which features cover art by Yes/Osibisa illustrator Roger Dean.

Members: Louis Moholo (drums), Mongezi Feza (trumpet, flute), Fred Coker (guitar), Dudu Pukwana (alto saxophone), Bizo Muggikana [Bizo Mnocikana] (tenor saxophone), Charles Ononogbo (bass), Terry Quaye (congas), Fred Frederick (tenor saxophone)


  • Assagai (1971)
  • Zimbabwe (1971)

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