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20th Century Masters: The Best of Hugh Masekela

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Album Review

Hugh Masekela recorded for a series of American labels between the mid-'60s and mid-'70s: Mercury; MGM; Decca's Uni subsidiary; and his own Chisa label, distributed first by Motown and then by Blue Thumb. All of those labels have since been incorporated within the major label Universal, and Universal's reissue arm, Hip-O, is responsible for this collection, part of the discount-priced best-of series 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection. Masekela scored a surprise number one hit in 1968 with the instrumental "Grazing in the Grass," and that, of course, leads off the album. Although he turned out to be essentially a one-hit wonder, two of his other singles chart entries, a cover of Jimmy Webb's Fifth Dimension hit "Up, Up and Away" and the original composition "Riot," are also included. The rest of the 64-minute disc contains key album tracks from the pop chart LPs Hugh Masekela's Latest, Hugh Masekela Is Alive and Well at the Whiskey, The Promise of a Future, Masekela, and I Am Not Afraid. In addition to his treatments of American pop songs ("You Keep Me Hangin' On"), Masekela ranges from contemporary jazz styles to traditional South African sounds. The album is a good sampler of his work during his most popular period as a recording artist, 1966-1974.

Customer Reviews

best of hugh masekela

Simply one of the best ever. I saw him in the early 70's. Just plain fantastic!

Bra Hugh like Madiba of this jazz

i honestly paid more attention to this artist when Black Coffee remixed Stimela and i was blown away , i wanted to listen to more of Bra Hugh"s projects and within a short space of time he performed Stimela on one of SABC 2 afro music programmes, i went crazy over that song and went to the Musica and got his best of album which introduced me to Gileshe, Thanayi and other classics, it is a solid album and i love the fact that he performed all the classics,i am looking forward to attend one of his performances...


Born: April 4, 1939 in Witbank, South Africa

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Hugh Masekela has an extensive jazz background and credentials, but has enjoyed major success as one of the earliest leaders in the world fusion mode. Masekela's vibrant trumpet and flügelhorn solos have been featured in pop, R&B, disco, Afro-pop, and jazz contexts. He's had American and international hits, worked with bands around the world, and played with African, African-American, European, and various American musicians during a stellar career. His style, especially on flügelhorn, is a charismatic...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Hugh Masekela

20th Century Masters: The Best of Hugh Masekela, Hugh Masekela
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Crossover Jazz
  • Released: Sep 19, 2006

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