HUGH MASEKELA / Soul Covers Mixtape
Source: Breath of Life - (BoL Mixtape - April 23, 2012)
Hugh Masekela has had an amazing career in music. Louis Armstrong donated a trumpet to a school Masekela attended in South Africa. Who could have known at that time that a gifted young trumpeter was destined to develop into one of the most popular and influential musicians to emerge from the restrictive, albeit culturally rich, apartheid state of South Africa?
In 1960, after joining pianist Dollar Brand (later more widely known as Abdullah Ibrahim) and others in founding the Jazz Epistles, Hugh Masekela went into exile. The catalyst that flung him out of South Africa was the 1960 Sharpville Massacre during which 69 unarmed demonstrators were slaughtered by the police forces. Landing first in London before moving on to New York, Masekela attended school at Guildhall School of Music (England) and Manhatan School of Music (United States).
By the late sixties, Hugh Masekela began his recording career as a leader. In 1968 he produced a multi-million selling, major hit with “Grazin’ in the Grass.” Now in his fifth decade as a recording artist, Masekela is almost legendary.
The trumpet (and a little less so, the flugelhorn)is a brutal instrument to maintain over the decades. Few professionals are able to blow hard night after night and maintain both a creative edge and technical mastery beyond twenty years. Hugh has doubled-down on the average and is still going strong with Phola, a 2009 release, as well as with We Are One, a collaboration with South African producer and contemporary music sensation Black Coffee.
While we have featured Masekela before, this Mixtape will focus mainly on Masekela’s interpretation of USA Soul Music. What will be quickly apparent is regardless of the origins of the song, Masekela brings a brio to the music is infectious. Masekela understands that at root Soul music is dance music. Hugh makes you want to jump up and shake something.
This is not a collection of greatest hits, nor a sampling of major recordings from his Masekela’s storied career. No, this is just a batch of exuberant, toe-tapping music where the emphasis is on having a good time. Enjoy.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Masekela Soul Covers Mixtape Playlist
01 “Night In Tunisia”
Is Alive And Well At The Whiskey A Go-Go
02 “Up-Up And Away”
03 “Little Miss Sweetness”
04 “Cantelope Island”
06 “Keep Me Hangin’ On”
07 “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
08 “For The Love Of You”
10 “Ooo, Baby, Baby”
11 “No Woman, No Cry”
12 “Hush (Somebody’s Calling My Name)”
13 “People Make The World Go Round”
14 “Betcha By Golly Wow”
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