Monday, August 15, 2016

Bajabula Bonke

Hugh Masekela
Oil on canvas, 5 x 5 inches, 2016
The Promise of a Future is a 1968 record by Hugh Masekela that introduced the world to the ubiquitous tune Grazing in the Grass. Hugh Masekela is a South African trumpet player who began his career playing for Albert Herbert in 1956. He joined the Manhattan Brothers in 1958 before joining the orchestra for the movie King Kong. At the end of 1959 he formed, with Dollar Brand and others, the Jazz Epistles, the first South American group to record a jazz LP. Masekela, always vocal in opposition to the apartheid regime, fled the country in 1960. He ended up in Manhattan two years after being a Manhattan Brother, married and divorced Miriam Makeba, all before his smash hit Grazing in the Grass made him a rock star at 29. The Promise of a Future is a great Afro-Jazz album and the Bajabula Bonke (The Healing Song) my favorite track.

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