Monday, January 30, 2012

Hugh Masekela - Masekela (1968)

Today I have a very special post for you, a rare recording from Hugh Masekela. Masekela has never shied from speaking out for justice, and this recording, made in the U$ during a rebellious 1968, bristles with outrage from its first track, "Mace and Grenades."

The record sleeve is trashed, but the sound quality of this record is mostly excellent. Digitizing it was a small challenge because many of the cuts virtually crossfade into the next. In fact I left the tracks "Gold" and "Subukwe" conjoined because they work splendidly together. Most of the songs were written by Masekela, with one Dollar Brand song ("Gafsa") and another by saxophone legend Kippie Moeketsi. "Head Peepin'" certainly sounds dated due to its groovy language, but most of the album is timeless. One intriguing quirk about the record is that the last track, a snippet of "Grazin' in the Grass," is separated by a gap. The record apparently finishes and rotates continuously without getting to the "Extra Added Attraction" unless you physically lift the tonearm and put it at the beginning of the 1-minute teaser. Was that intentional?

There is absolutely no information about the musicians participating in this gorgeous session, on the record sleeve, but thanks to Doug Payne's essential discography research, we can attribute this fine music to these musicians:

  • Hugh Masekela (tp, vcl)
  • Wayne Henderson (tb)
  • Al Abreu, Wilton Felder (sax)
  • Bill Henderson (p)
  • Arthur Adams (g)
  • Henry Franklin (b)
  • Chuck Carter (d)
Do not hesitate to listen to this one!


FrancoPepeKalle said...

This man is someone who has made some unique music. I have heard of this great man and now I can not get enough of his great music. Thanks Rhythm Connection.

Apurva Bahadur said...

Many thanks for sharing the album.

For those having trouble unzipping this excellent album with Winzip, please use 7 zip from

Apurva from Pune, India.

Rhythm Connection said...

Thanks for helping out, Apurva. Was there a problem with this one? The procedure was the same.

Both of you are welcome, and I'm not surprised you 'dig' this music.

Apurva Bahadur said...

The winzip on my computer pointed to an error in the naming of the third song (Gold_Sobukwe)- it found a colon (:) in the name and refused to unzip the archives.

I am now puzzled, as after extraction with 7zip, I cannot find a colon in the name of the song. In any case, we have achieved success.

Yes, the music from South Africa is very much in focus of a nut from Pune, India.

Apurva from Pune, India

dial africa said...

What an album! I'm impressed.

kabuga said...

Thanks sir. Whenever i try to unzip, i am asked for a password. How do i go about it?

Rhythm Connection said...

@kabuga: There is no password on the file. Read the comment above from Apurva about how he successfully unzipped the file. I think the problem is that certain Windoze versions have problems with symbols in file names. One song on this album has a "/" separating two songs, and I think that may be causing your problem. Try a different unzip program, and get back to me if it doesn't work. Over 250 people have dloaded the file and you (and Apurva) are the only problems I've heard about. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this, I've been looking for this one for awhile now. Turned on to Hugh Masekela by Ted Leo covering "Mace And Grenades" in his early solo shows just backed with a reel-to-reel tape. Weird. Thanks again.

David said...

thank you for this gift. I've looked for this music for years in an mp3 form and couldn't find it. I have an LP copy also. This and I Am Not Afraid are majestic albums. Made me incredibly happy tonight.