April 8, 2012

Hugh Masekela - Took Jazz from South Africa and turned everyone on.

Another rare, and probably unheard one from The Hollywood Bowl this weekend. This time it's Hugh Masekela, who was riding high on the crossover hit Grazin' In The Grass and appearing at The Hollywood Bowl for the first time on August 14, 1968.

Oddly, part of a Fashion Show put on by The Broadway Department Stores in Los Angeles, Masekela was sandwiched in between Fall Fashion Previews and The Shopping Experience At The Broadway. But it was still enough to make an impression on the audience, and luckily it was recorded and can now be enjoyed.

Before Hugh Masekela came on the scene, Jazz from South Africa was thought not to exist, at least in the States. Certainly, it was heard about and talked about among Jazz aficianados, but it was Masekela who turned everyone, including an audience steeped in rock and pop, on to a new and exciting take on the Jazz idiom.

Coming in at a little less than a half-hour (with one or two numbers missing and a supposed 2nd half which never materialized) it's a memorable slice of musical history from an influential and much admired musician we just don't hear much about these days.

Except here.

Get ready for Monday.

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