Sunday, August 19, 2012

Africa '68

While South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has recorded scores of great records since the mid 1960s, one of his very finest achievements is this little-known triumph called Africa '68 (UNI).
This mysterious album was recorded in late 1967 between the trumpeter's Hugh Masekela Is Alive and Well at the Whiskey (UNI, 1967) and the career hit of "Grazing In The Grass" from The Promise Of A Future (UNI, 1968). The album bears no credit whatsoever except a promo sticker affixed to the front cover stating "Hugh Masekela Presents the Exciting Sounds of Africa And Its People" and descriptive liner notes from the trumpeter himself, who served as co-producer (with partner Stewart Levine) and - obviously, though not stated - musical director of this grand project of mbaqanga music.There are no musician credits on the record, but it's pretty obvious that Masekela - who probably served as musical director - is on trumpet, vocals, background vocals and probably many of the arrangements heard here too. Letta Mbulu obviously leads on many of the songs. And it's a safe bet that Jonas Gwangwa and Caiphus Semenya make significant contributions to the music too.
Truly bountiful, beautiful and beneficent, this music absolutely should be heard by anyone who likes or cares for the music of Hugh Masekela, Letta Mbulu, Caiphus Semenya or Jonas Gwangwa. It is among the best work any of these great artists have ever done.
and yes! he is not exaggerating at all ! 

bra Hugh's lost masterpiece

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. Thank you Nauma. Welcome back !Cheers from Los Angeles. :)