Grazing in the Grass: The Best of Hugh Masekelaby Hugh Masekela
This release is superb, but also a little confusing -- it is, as its packaging suggests, a magnificent retrospective of a global jazz legend, despite the fact that it must, of necessity, leave some holes in a 14-song selection intended to sum up a 40-year career. What isn't clear until one opens it, however, is that little of what's here -- none of it, in fact -- consists of the original recordings; rather, these are re-recordings done for Columbia in much more recent times. And that's not necessarily bad, as Masekela has lost little of his fire over the ensuing four decades and did get to do these tracks under ideal conditions. The result is not so much a retrospective as a reconsideration of various highlights of his career, as he is heard on such 1960s-vintage pieces as "Grazing in the Grass" or "Strawberries" at the end of the 20th century. The sound is excellent and the annotation is very thorough on a track-by-track basis.
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- Sbme Special Mkts.
Performance CreditsHugh Masekela Primary Artist,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
John Selolwane Guitar
Vusi Khumalo Drums
Don Laka Multi Instruments
Makhaya Mahlangu Flute,Saxophone
Kenny Mathaba Guitar
Cedric Samson Percussion,Drums
Technical CreditsHugh Masekela Composer,Producer
Cedric Samson Producer
Mthunzi Namba Producer
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Excellent compendium of Masekela's work, with re'recordings of some of his biggest tunes in their original arrangements, which makes the sound much more contemporary. This is especially so with Grazin' In the Grass. But the best tunes are the beautiful Caiphus Semenya tune, ''Ziph'inkomo'', the mournful ''Mama'', and the new recordings of ''Don't Go Lose it Baby'' and ''Colonial Man (Vasco DaGama) are just as good, if not better, than its original. Might've included ''U-Dwi'', from Techno-Bush, and there's nothing from the seemingly lost mid-1980s album Waiting for the Rain. If you want to hear the premier South African artist at his best, this is the CD to get.