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The Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga

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Album Review

In patching together a program of Hugh Masekela's MGM recordings onto a single overstuffed CD, Verve took the original The Americanization of Ooga Booga album, leapfrogged over its successor, Next Album, and coupled it with the third MGM LP, The Lasting Impressions of Hugh Masekela. That made good sense since the two albums originate from the same live date at the Village Gate, recorded when the trumpeter was still in the process of making an impression in the U.S. Masekela is full of wild, sputtering, high-rolling exuberance, developing some of his familiar signature trumpet riffs, freely exploring South African rhythms, harmonic sequences, and chants, and mixing them with soul-jazz at a time when hardly anyone else would bother (the mixture of township jive and jazz works especially well on "U-Dwi"). He also ties into Brazil with a fine rendition of Jorge Ben's "Mas Que Nada" and assimilates Coltrane into his bloodstream with a tribute called "Mixolydia." In general, the Americanization tracks are the picks of the crop (Impressions, after all, had been compiled in 1968 to cash in on Masekela's surprise number one single, "Grazing in the Grass"). With the rhythm section of Larry Willis on piano, Harold Dotson on bass, and Henry Jenkins on drums, this music still holds up marvelously today. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The Lasting Impressons Of Ooga Booga

While including most of the originals from The Americanization Of Ooga Booga, the few that were left out of this album made me yearn even more for those missing, ‘Al Lese Le Di Khanna’, for example, which especially embodied the raw African expressions of this incredible young bare footed trumpeter from Johannesburg South Africa who invaded the pop & jazz scene of my young generation and satisfied a longing within us. The desire to have our most primal urges satisfied were met in the most unique musical experience we had yet encountered.. His trumpet and vocals expressed a language which had as yet been unheard of and one that resonated at the deepest level of our soul and left us both satisfied and hungry for more. The evolution of his style to include many of the popular pop and R& B songs of our day never, in my opinion, transcended these first contributions of his which were born out of the environment and life experiences of Hugh Masekela’s childhood and adolescence where he grew up and which he captured and then released for our enjoyment and enrichment both culturally and musically. The original remains my favorite jazz album but this one comes in a close second in my opinion.


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
The Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga, Hugh Masekela
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 18, 1996

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