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Hugh Masekela Hope on 200g 45RPM 2LP from Analogue Productions
Hugh Masekela is a world-renowned South African flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice. Masekela began to hone his, now signature, Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s during a period of intense creative collaboration, most notably performing in the 1959 musical King Kong, written by Todd Matshikiza, and, soon thereafter, as a member of the now legendary South African group, the Jazz Epistles (featuring the classic line up of Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa).
In 1960, at the age of 21 he left South Africa to begin what would be 30 years in exile from the land of his birth. On arrival in New York he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music. This coincided with a golden era of jazz music and the young Masekela immersed himself in the New York jazz scene where nightly he watched greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach. Under the tutelage of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Hugh was encouraged to develop his own unique style, feeding off African rather than American influences.
In the late 1960s Hugh moved to Los Angeles in the heat of the ‘Summer of Love’, where he was befriended by counter culture icons like David Crosby, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. In 1967 Hugh performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. In 1968, his instrumental single “Grazin’ in the Grass” went to No. 1 on the American pop charts and was a worldwide smash, elevating Hugh onto the international stage.
His subsequent solo career has spanned 5 decades, during which time he has released over 40 albums (featured on countless more) and has worked with such diverse artists as Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye, Herb Alpert, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and the late Miriam Makeba. In 1990 Hugh returned home, following the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela – an event anticipated in Hugh’s anti-apartheid anthem “Bring Home Nelson Mandela” (1986) which had been a rallying cry around the world.
A longtime audiophile demonstration disc, Hugh Masekela’s heralded 1994 live album Hope will show off your system’s dynamic range as well as any record ever released. Recorded in the Summer of 1993 at Washington, D.C.’s Blues Alley with a fiery seven-piece group, Hope finds the music legend revisiting his rich history with a touchstone 7-song set which covers material reaching over 5 different decades and several countries and composers. The songs are diverse, passionate and transcendent, and as for the sound…WOW!
“…Hope is one of those intensely visceral, large as life, and immediately present recordings that will make pretty much any system sound at least very good, and will cause better ones to raise goose bumps.” – Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound
“Here’s another masterpiece from Chad Kassem and Kevin Gray…you would swear that you are listening to a master tape in your living room…this one is great for showing off what your stereo system can do.” – Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio, No. 15, 2008
“…Believe me, this double 45 makes the CD sound like digital dog crap. It you thought the CD version sounded good, you ain’t heard nuttin’ yet.” – Michael Fremer, www.musicangle.com
“Wow! Hugh Masekela never sounded more real – the BEST Masekela album, a definitive must have!” – Danny Kaey, Positive-Feedback Online
Hugh Masekela Hope Track Listing:
1. Abangoma (The Healers)
3. Grazin’ In The Grass
6. Ntyilo Ntyilo (The Love Bird)
7. Stimela (The Coal Train)