Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CD of the Day - "Hugh Masekela: Home Is Where The Music Is"

CD of the Day
Hugh Masekela: "Home Is Where The Music Is" (Blue Thumb/Verve Originals) 2008
Groove is paramount on the 10 tracks of this album, recorded in London (at Island Studios) back in January 1972, co-produced by Stewart Levine & Caiphus Semyena, and originally released as 2-LP set for Tommy LiPuma/Bob Krasnow's Blue Thumb label. As usual, the South African jazz master Masekela (playing only flugelhorn in all tracks) surrounds himself with fine musicians. This time a quintet including Dudu Pukwana (trumpet), the eternally underrated Larry Willis (acoustic piano & mostly Fender Rhodes), Eddie Gomez (acoustic bass) and Makhaya Ntshoko (drums). The tracklist includes a Masekela original ("Maseru"), a song by Hugh's former wife Miriam Makeba ("Uhomé"), and five tracks by Caiphus Semyena. This 2008 digipack reissue, on Verve Originals series (supervised by Harry Weinger), brings the original recording back with crisply remastered sound by engineer Gavin Lurssen.
Available at DustyGroove. That's what they say:
Massively wonderful work from the mighty Hugh Masekela -- easily one of his hippest, most soulful sessions ever! This double-length gem really has Hugh letting go -- moving way beyond the pop modes of the late 60s, into a long-flowing, open-rolling groove that's played by a spare quintet lineup with plenty of African themes in the rhythms! Players include Larry Willis on acoustic and electric piano and Dudu Pukwana on alto sax -- both of whom are wonderful, and really get a chance to sparkle in the session -- almost sharing equal space with Masekela in the sound and shape of the record, although Hugh's horn work is pretty darn amazing too. Other players include Eddie Gomez on bass and Mahaya Ntshoko on drums -- and the record has the sort of open, righteous feel of a session on Black Jazz or Strata East -- a vibe that really blows away most other Chisa Records work of the time. Titles include Willis' classic "Inner Crisis", plus "Blues For Huey", "Part Of A Whole", "Maesha", "The Big Apple", "Minawa", and "Nomali".

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