Warming Up

Warming Up

Monday, April 11, 2011

Guess The Trumpet Player Winner

Before we get to the answer of last week’s contest, I want to offer a preemptive apology for the light blogging this week. It looks like it’s going to be a really busy week of writing (music and otherwise) deadlines, gigs, rehearsals, and work stuff. Ok, now that that’s said…

Thanks to all who listened to Thursday’s track and to those who ventured a guess. Like last week, no one guessed who it was, so the winner of the thirteenth of the Outside Pants Guess The Trumpet Player contest is…….no one. And that’s…ok.

The correct answer is Hugh Masekela. The tune is called “Bajabula Bonke” (which means, I think, The Healing Song) and it’s from Hugh’s 1965 live at the Village Gate (NYC) recording “Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga.” The second track is a fun trumpet overdub one called “Fuzz” (the police, people!) and it’s from the unfortunately rather hard to find 1968 album “Masekela” which looks to have never been released on CD (that’s a huge crime!). This is a vinyl rip, thus the crackles and pops.

Hugh Masekela is a special musical figure. He escaped Apartheid South Africa, made it to England with his horn, then he made it to New York, and later Los Angeles, then finally, once Apartheid had ended, he returned to South Africa. He is not a jazz player. I think maybe he wanted to be, but because of his background, he had so much more to offer. Apparently Miles Davis felt the same way. Back around the time of these recordings Miles encouraged Hugh to quit trying to play American jazz and focus on his own music which was informed by his South African roots. Hugh heeded the advice and these two albums are great examples of the music that Hugh chose to make. His music was successful, and, for some time in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Hugh was something of a pop star in America. He also was married for a while to the great Miriam Makeba – that’s a serious Power Couple! For what it’s worth, “Masekela” is one of my all-time favorite records. Awesome songs, powerful vocal performances and great Masekela trumpet playing - the licks and lines on this record are classic Masekela trumpet. If you listen to his playing from a jazz perspective then you’ll be missing the point. If you listen from a music perspective you’ll be more likely to be moved by the power of what he is saying. Oh, and his singing voice is singular, raw, and emotional. Get yourself some Hugh Masekela!

No comments:

Post a Comment