by Hugh Masekela

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Presumably to commemorate his 60th birthday, Hugh Masekela released an album of primarily African works. The album starts with a tribute to Fela, a kindred spirit in African horn playing and a friend of Masekela. After that, it moves on through a number of traditional songs and trips down memory lane. The liner notes give a good deal of background information on each of the songs (always a plus). From time to time, the music seems to slip into something of a contemporary Harry Belafonte-esque sound (which perhaps might not be completely surprising, given the repeated collaborations between Belafonte and Miriam Makeba, coupled with Masekela's marriage to Makeba). Despite (or due to) any such similarities that may arise, this is international pop at its best. Also, the backing vocals of the Family Factory group are exceptional, at the very least. For fans of "Grazin' in the Grass," this album might not be too well suited to you. For fans of basic African pop, jazz, highlife, and worldbeat, it's probably a good find. ~ Adam Greenberg
Publication Date:
Shanachie Records

Track Listing

Disc 1

  1. Fela (5:35)
  2. Thanayi (5:27)
  3. Shango (5:31)
  4. Mamoriri (4:20)
  5. Mbombela (5:27)
  6. Mgewundini (5:18)
  7. Nomalizo (6:31)
  8. Bo Masekela (5:20)
  9. Tamati So So (7:26)
  10. Ziphi 'Nkomo (6:49)
  11. Lizzy (6:13)
  12. Been Such a Long Time Gone (4:32)
  13. Koshana (1:38)

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