Cape-Town based tenor saxophonist who was born and grew up in District Six.
Performed and recorded with several top South African jazz musicians including Dollar Brand, Kippie Moeketsi, Pat Matshikiza, Lionel Beukes and Errol Dyers.
His most famous collaborations were with Dollar Brand, including his iconic saxophone contribution to ‘Mannenberg – Is Where It’s Happening” which led to his nickname, Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee.
In 1978 he released the album Shrimp Boats, in collaboration with Barney Rachabane (alto saxophone), Charles Johnstone (bass), Sipho Gumede (bass), Gilbert Mathews (drums), Rod Clarke (drums, percussion) and Lionel Pillay (keyboards, piano).
In the mid-1970s to early 1980s period he was a member of Black Disco, Pacific Express and Movement In The City. In the mid-1980s he formed the group Sabenza with whom he recorded the album Sabenza (1987).
He also performed the saxophone solo on Bright’s Blue’s “Weeping (1987).
He released two subsequent solo albums, Monwabisi (1991) and B (1998).
He died in Mitchell’s Plain in March 1998.
Born and raised in Athlone, Cape Town his music career began with the release of his first single, “Please stay” in 1975 when he was just 14 years old. It was a cover of the Drifters song and did very well in the South African charts.
He released further singles and a solo album, I Love How You Love Me (1975) in the 1970s but his solo career took a backseat when he joined Pacific Express in 1978.
In the 1980s his solo career reignited with the release of the Crossroads (1983) album and the single “I’ll be waiting for your love” (1984).
In 1987 his single “Lies” was an international success, charting in both the USA and UK. He has continued to release albums ever since and in the 1980s.
He relocated to London and then moved to California.
Formed in London in the mid-1980s by South African musicians in exile together with London musicians: South African Russell Herman (guitar, flute, berimbau, vocals), South African Frank Williams (saxophone, vocals), Tim Atkins (drums, percussion), Adrian Reid (keyboards, vocals) and Peter Trottman (bass, vocals).
They released the album Going Home in 1985 and the EP “State of Emergency”/ “Situnia – A Flower” in 1986.
For the EP South African Tony Cedras (keyboards, trumpet, vocals) replaced Adrian Reid. Tony Cedras had previously been a member of Estudio, Mahogany and Pacific Express. Russell Herman was also a member of District Six.