Pacific Express

Pacific Express were a South African jazz-funk/soul ensemble that released three albums during the late 1970s. The band evolved from ’60s soul outfit the Pacifics and maintained a revolving door lineup over the years that served as a launching pad for up-and-comers on the Cape Town jazz scene.

In 1976, Pacific Express debuted with Black Fire on EMI. Subsequent releases were issued on the local Gull label, which was instigated in part to market the band. For the second album, On Time!, the band were graced with the established talents of saxist Barney Rachabane.

Members: Paul Abrahams (bass), Issy Ariefdien (guitar, vocals), Robbie Jansen (trumpet, alto saxophone, flute, vocals), Chris Schilder [aka Ebrahim Khalil Shihab] (electric piano, 1975-?), Basil Coetzee (tenor saxophone, flute), Jack Momple (drums, percussion), Zayn Adams [Zayn Adam] (vocals, percussion), Vic Higgins (percussion), Barney Rachabane (alto saxophone), Stompie Manana (trumpet), Tony Cedras (keyboards, trumpet), Jonathan Butler (vocals, guitar, 1978-?)

Following their time in Pacific Express, Basil Coetzee recorded the album Plum and Cherry with pianist Lionel Pillay while Robbie Jansen resurfaced in Johannesburg stars Juluka.


  • Black Fire (1976)
  • On Time! (1978)
  • Expressions (1979)

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