Tuve la oportunidad de compartir una vida con Junior, Joseph, Daniel y Louis Siankope. Algún día, alguien escribirá su historia, la de la Neptune Band of Zimbabwe, venida a España en los albores de la década de los ochenta y, al punto, emancipada de aquel doctor Fratantoni que les trajo y mejor olvidar. De todos ellos solo queda Joseph, quien aquí ha encontrado a Olga, el amor de su vida y la madre de sus 2 hijos, Joseph Jr. y Alvaro. Daniel y Louis están de vuelta en Zimbaue y tocando como siempre han hecho.
Junior era especial, todos lo eran pero él, si se me permite, un poco más. Un personaje y una inagotable fuente de anécdotas. El mejor compañero de farra al que nadie pudiera aspirar y un ser humano entrañable y cálido. También él estaba de vuelta en su país, había formado una familia y abandonado la música. Tiempo sin verle. Ahora ha fallecido en un estúpido accidente de tráfico. Algunos nunca le olvidaremos.
En torno a The Neptune Band of Zimbabwe
On 2 November 1984 an exotic group of traditional jazz players performed at a jazz club in Hannover (Germany). This concert was recorded. Last night I listened to an old teel-to-reel tape of this concert. The traditional jazz band plays in a old primitive New Orleans style using ancient chords and melodies as if they were transfered directly from the borders of the Mississippi.
But something seems anachronical ...... the musicians are not from the USA, they are inhabitants of Zimbabwe (Africa) and their leader is Papa Cesar Fratantoni, an Argentine dentists, who lives and works in Salisbury, Zimbabwe.
Fratantoni has been one of the founders of the well known Portena Jazz Band, then one of the leading jazz bands in Argentina and a purist if he is playing jazz. He used the time that he was working as a dentist in Africa to study the primitive music cultures to find out about the roots of the jazz. He uses, if possible, authentic instruments - Cesar jr. plays on a card board trumpet, a primitive trumpet from the 19th century. And he tried to find unspoiled musicians, to get the most basic New Orleans sound he could make. The results of this was the Neptune Band of Zimbabwe.
I was so lucky to hear it play at the 1981 Oude Stijl Jazz Festival in Breda (The Nerherlands) and I remember that we were sitting right in front of the stage. I still felt that same thrill last night when I heard the music on the tape; that primitive new orleans sound.
The musicians are: Dr. Cesar Josy Fratantoni dir, cl, Junio Siankope b, Sabina Violett Siankope banj vo, Daniel Siankope tb, Trijwell Joseph Siankope co and Japhet Siancope dm
I hope to find these recordings on LP ones. A track has been released on a Feel The Jazz compilation CD.
Pardon me for correcting the above post. My name is Sergio Tamburri, one of the five founders of the Porteña Jazz Band. I recorded the first five albums with the Porteña Jazz Band and I quit the band in 1970 because reasons that I will perhaps write sometimes in the future if someone is interested to know more.The founders, besides myself (trombone) were Norberto Gandini (cornet), Tito Romero (piano), Alfredo Espinosa (alto and soprano sax), and Carlos Balmaceda (tuba). We did get together for the first time (late 1963) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our first encounter was at the Bar Callao, on Callao Street. It was a place that many bands used to rehearse, for few pesos by the hour. There were several soundproof rooms for rent under the bar. Usually we would be rehearsing two or three times a week for a couple of hours each time. Today the Bar Callao does not exist anymore. Here the false data: I know Cesar Fratantoni personally. I can say that he did not even put a foot one single time into the band. Ever. I am reading here and there that other musicians are taking advantage and profiting from our Band. After we became worldwide famous everybody wants to be the founder (or played with the original authentic band) now. I just wanted to clarify this false data.Thank you,
Sergio Tamburri (March 31, 2009)
nota para los no angloparlantes: el estado de enajenación mental transitoria en que me ha sumido la noticia de la muerte de Junior me impide entregarme a la tarea de traducir estos textos, como hubiera sido mi deseo. Pido perdón y comprensión a los damnificados