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Grazing In the Grass - The Best of Hugh Masekela

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Album Review

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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Re-recorded hits

If you are looking for the original 1968 single version of the hit Grazing in the Grass, this is not it. The version here is rerecorded. To get the original single, go to Still Grazing.

Biography

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...
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Grazing In the Grass - The Best of Hugh Masekela, Hugh Masekela
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