The Brotherhood of Breath was a big band created, in the late 1960s, by South African pianist and composer Chris McGregor (1936–1990), essentially an extension of McGregor's previous band The Blue Notes.
The Brotherhood of Breath included many members of the South African expatriate community resident in London, including McGregor himself, Louis Moholo, Harry Miller, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, (occasionally) Johnny Dyani; and many of the free jazz musicians who were based in London at the same time: Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Harry Beckett, Marc Charig, Alan Skidmore, Mike Osborne, Elton Dean, Nick Evans, and John Surman. The personnel was fluid, depending on who was available.
The original Brotherhood Of Breath ended in the late-1970s, with the deaths of Mongezi Feza and Harry Miller (whose label, Ogun Records, released some of the Brotherhood's albums.) McGregor formed a second version of the group in France in the early-1980s. In 1987, a third edition was formed with African and British musicians such as Annie Whitehead. In this incarnation the music was more tightly arranged and controlled, with less free improvisation.