The title's a bit misleading, since the record really doesn't include Hugh's biggest hits – but it is a darn groovy batch of tight little numbers, all infused with Hugh's South African Soul riffing, and plenty of funky trumpet! Includes nice remakes of "Mas Que Nada" and "Cantelope Island" – plus "Con Mucho Carino", "She's Comin' My Way", and "Abangoma". LP, Vinyl record album
A stone winner – on both sides! You already know Hugh's classic "Grazing In The Grass", one of the all-time great Afro Pop numbers – with trademark loud cowbell and wonderful off-beat horn sounds. "Bajabula" is pretty darn great, too – and although it's very very slow, it's got a similar haunting groove, with off-kilter rhythms that make it really compelling. 7-inch, Vinyl record
Hats off to HughMasekela – one of the few artists who could record for the Casablanca label and never manage to lose his own sense of sound and spirit! The album's a surprisingly great one, filled with the kinds of subtle touches and earthy soul we've always loved in Hugh's music – certainly a bit more polished than before, given the date of the record, but still filled with some really personal, individual moments. The set begins with a beautiful long instrumental titled "Hi Life" – with Hugh blowing a long, lean solo over the top of a mellow groove – then it moves into a range of shorter numbers, both vocal and instrumental, including the funk track "Toe Jam", plus the cuts "Come On Home", "Melodi", "I'll Make You Feel Alright", "Melody Maker", and "Dance". LP, Vinyl record album
Reconstruction ... CD Chisa/Universal (Japan), 1970. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
HughMasekela kicks off the 70s with this wonderfully bold statement – a record that's light years from the shorter, simpler instrumentals of his earliest American years – and which really shows Hugh trying to reach out for a new groove! Masekela sings a bit on the set – often with this raspy tone that echoes his slight grimace on the cover – and instrumentation includes lots of work from other LA electric jazz giants, including members of The Crusaders – with Joe Sample on Fender Rhodes, Monk Montgomery and Wilton Felder on bass, Arthur Adams on guitar, and Larry Willis on piano. Some of the best tracks have earthy percussion at the bottom – congas by Francisco Aguabella – which complicates the rhythms in a great way – and titles include "Woza", "I Can't Dance", "Make Me A Potion", "Sala Le Mane", "Traces", and "Leave Us Alone". CD
HughMasekela kicks off the 70s with this wonderfully bold statement – a record that's light years from the shorter, simpler instrumentals of his earliest American years – and which really shows Hugh trying to reach out for a new groove! Masekela sings a bit on the set – often with this raspy tone that echoes his slight grimace on the cover – and instrumentation includes lots of work from other LA electric jazz giants, including members of The Crusaders – with Joe Sample on Fender Rhodes, Monk Montgomery and Wilton Felder on bass, Arthur Adams on guitar, and Larry Willis on piano. Some of the best tracks have earthy percussion at the bottom – congas by Francisco Aguabella – which complicates the rhythms in a great way – and titles include "Woza", "I Can't Dance", "Make Me A Potion", "Sala Le Mane", "Traces", and "Leave Us Alone". LP, Vinyl record album
Do yourself a favor, and buy this album – you won't be disappointed! The record is a gem all the way through – a really unique mixture of LA soul jazz and African rhythms, with a sound that's almost like HughMasekela sitting in with the Jazz Crusaders! Of course, there's a lot of Jazz Crusaders in the set – as Wilton Felder plays electric bass on the album, giving it a fantastic loping groove – but there's also plenty of unique albums on the record, especially its way of approaching the rhythms with a sly, syncopated groove that's immediately infectious! Duke's trumpet solos are great, and they're augmented by tenor work by Chester Washington and trombone by George Bohannon – all nicely grooving on the album's brilliant blend of jazzy tracks. Titles include "Jungle Funk", "Afrikaloo", "Akagruge", "Like It Is", "Mafam", and "Peace Brother". Somebody put this one on CD – and do us all a treat! LP, Vinyl record album
One of the funkiest albums ever on Blue Note – a set that mixes the trumpet talents of Blue Mitchell with some killer backings from Monk Higgins – all in a groove that more gritty edges than the best funky soundtracks of the time! Higgins keeps the backings full, but always quite lean – fusing all elements together into a sharp, tight rhythm that steps along with some of the slight African touches you might guess from the title – a groove that's not really that authentic, but which resonates with some of the best inspirations that HughMasekela was bringing to American music at the time. And while the album might be an attempt to cash in on Masekela's groove, the feel here is really quite different overall – as tracks are nicely stretched out, with plenty of room for jazzy solo work – and a groove that's much harder overall, thanks to Higgins! Other players include Freddy Robinson on guitar, Wilton Felder on bass, Paul Humphrey on drums, and Plas Johnson on tenor – and titles include "HNIC", "Flat Backing", "Na Ta Ka", "Bantu Village", and "Blue Dashiki". CD
One of the few funky albums ever cut as a leader by Larry Willis – a super-hip keyboard player who's best known for his work with Jackie McLean and HughMasekela, but who sounds even better as a leader! This album's a gem all the way through – with a free-thinking soulful sound that's head and shoulders above the rest of the work on Groove Merchant at the time. Players include Harold Vick, Roland Prince, and Eddie Gomez – and the overall groove is an incredible array of soulful rhythms, played by Larry on electric piano, in a mode that makes the record feel like a lost gem from Strata East or Black Jazz. Includes the cuts "Out On The Coast", "153rd Street Theme", "Inner Crisis", and "Bahamian Street Dance". LP, Vinyl record album
A 6CD set of oratory revolution – 175 Progress Drive by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Self-Defense, Self-Respect by Robert F Williams, Prisons On Fire by George Jackson, Attica, and Black Liberation, In A Pig's Eye by Ward Churchhill, Taking Liberties by Christian Parenti and the bonus Chile – Promise Of Freedom – in a single package! The Mumia disc features the voices of the man himself plus HughMasekela, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, Rubin Hurricane Carter & others. Churchill takes on the struggles of Native America, Mabel Williams tells the Self-Defense, Self-Respect & Self-Determination of Robert F Williams, Black Liberation is covered on Prisons On Fire and Christian Parenti speaks of capitalist state opression on Taking Liberties. CD
Fab pop harmony soul! The Friends Of Distinction were LA counterparts of the 5th Dimension – and at one time, members of both groups had worked under the name of Rex Middleton's Hi Fi's. Unlike the 5th Dimension, who were a bit more pop, the Friends Of Distinction stayed more in the soul vein – using the sweet harmony style they'd crafted earlier to work through some jazzy changes that brought a whole new sound to the male/female soul group mode. This 20 track set features some of their best gems from the RCA years – including the super-huge vocal version of HughMasekela's "Grazing In The Grass", Roy Porter's incredible tune "Lonesome Mood", and other great ones like "Dying To Live", "I Really Hope You Do", "Crazy Mary", "Ain't No Woman". "Love Can Make It Easier", "And I Love Him", "Down I Go", "I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind", and "Great Day". CD
Maybe our favorite volume so far in this excellent series – a set that focuses on early 60s work from South Africa, with a vibe that really showcases that great sound that would soon explode globally – as artists like HughMasekela and Miriam Makeba got wider exposure! Yet the music here is hardly as commercial as sounds from those two – as the overall production and presentation is nice and rootsy – lively rhythms topped with jazzy instrumentation and these especially wonderful vocals that dip, turn, soar, and fly – all at a level that would become cliche in the world music boom decades later, but which still sounds beautiful here at the roots. All tracks were hand-picked from the archives of the International Library Of African Music – and titles include "Nylon" and "Intogeymy" by The Lower Buttons, "Seven Stiches" and "Rock Phata 1001" by Kid Ma Wrong Wrong, "Lulu Part 4" by Bra Sello, "Mangothobane" and "Wamuhle Lomfana" by Flying Jazz Queens, "Kudala Ngizula" by Cowboy Superman & His Cowboy Sisters, and "Nice Time" by Que Sisters. LP, Vinyl record album
Rare funk from the Kelekye Band – material recorded after their legendary Moving World album, but never issued at the time! This amazing package is totally great – four tracks of offbeat Afro Funk, with an approach that's heavy on percussion, and topped by jazzy riffs that really complicate the sound – a vibe that goes way deeper than more common Afro modes of the time, thanks to the rich solo energy of the horns! Trumpet is especially nice, and works great with the vocals – especially when they hit a warmer 70s soul mode that almost makes the record feel like HughMasekela teaming up with The Blackbyrds. Titles include "Mother Africa", "Munchin Session", "Too Bad Girl", and "Jungle Funk". 7-inch, Vinyl record
Hamiet Bluiett —
Nali Kola ... CD Soul Note (Italy), 1989. Used ...
Out Of Stock
A real standout session from reedman Hamiet Bluiett – a record that's heavy on Afro-centric influences, with lots of heavy percussion at the bottom, and a rare jazz combo appearance for the time by trumpeter HughMasekela! There's kind of an earthy loft jazz sort of feel to the date – almost spontaneous creation, as Bluiett plays baritone sax and flute, and Masekela trumpet and flugelhorn, over percussion from Chief Bey, Titos Sompa, Seku Tonga, and Okeryema Asante – the last of whom we know from his record for the Black Fire label. Plunky plays soprano sax on one number – furthering the Black Fire connection – and other musicians include Donald Smith on piano and Billy Spaceman Patterson on guitar, each on one track. Quincy Troupe delivers some hip poetry on the cut "Snake Back Solos" – and other titles include "Bouka", "Enum", "Broken Sticks", and "Nali Kola". CD
Jazz Epistles —
Verse 1 ... LP Adventure In Sound (UK), 1960. New Copy (reissue)...
Out Of Stock
A landmark album in South African jazz – featuring a group that includes early work from Dollar Brand on piano, HughMasekela on trumpet, Kippie Moeketsi on alto, and Jonas Gwanga on trombone! The style here is surprisingly close to American hardbop of the 50s – with less of the more specific South African modes that showed up later in the music of Brand, Masekela, and The Blue Notes – and the tracks are all nice and long, with plenty of room for standout solos from every musician. It's great to hear some of these artists work at a level that allows them to compete head to head with the best on Blue Note and Prestige at the time – and titles include "Blues For Hughie", "Cosmic Ray", "Vari Oo Voom", "Scullery Dept", "Gafsa", and "Carol's Drive". LP, Vinyl record album
The first collection in the legendary Mojo Club run – a groundbreaking series that brought together jazz, soul, funk, and vocal cuts – and really set the stage for global groove expansion in the 1990s! Although the club itself is German, most of the tracks here are American – gems pulled from the huge Universal music catalog of the 60s and 70s – and served up in a very fresh way that still sounds wonderful all these many years later! Loads of essential listening here – 12 tracks that include "Dujii" by Kool & The Gang, "In & Out" by Brian Auger, "Cantaloupe Island" by HughMasekela, "No Hay Problema" by Art Blakey, "Watermelon Man" by The JBs, "Selma March" by Grant Green, "Popcorn" by James Brown, "Burning Spear" by Kenny Burrell, "He's A Superstar" by Roy Ayers, and "No 9" by Jack Daugherty. LP, Vinyl record album
The turning point volume in the Mojo Club series – and the volume in which the groove really began to open up into the fantastic mix of styles that's made the series famous! The collection features 14 great tracks that shouldn't sound great together, but they do – a really amazing array of different music from different scenes – put together with a strong sense of panache, and running for much longer than any American compilations of this nature (if there's any that could ever match up!) Titles include "Zazueira" by Elis Regina, "Jimmy Jean" by Ellen McIlwaine, "Pretty Brown Skin" by Edwin Birdsong, "Hold Out Your Hand" by Karin Krog, "Use It Or Lose It" by Gotham, "Try To Relax" by Ballinjack, "Return Of The Prodigal Son" by Joe Lee Wilson, "Balanca Pema" by Ronald Mesquita, "Oba La Vem Ela" by Jorge Ben, "Dyambo" by HughMasekela, and "Easin In" by Edwin Starr. LP, Vinyl record album