‘Rejoice’ is a very special collaboration between Tony Allen, the legendary drummer and co-founder of Afrobeat, and Hugh Masekela, the master trumpet player of South African jazz.
Having first met in the 70s thanks to their respective close associations with Fela Kuti, the two world-renowned musicians talked for decades about making an album together. When, in 2010, their touring schedules coincided in the UK, the moment presented itself and producer Nick Gold took the opportunity to record their encounter. The unfinished sessions, consisting of all original compositions by the pair, lay in archive until after Masekela passed away in 2018. With renewed resolution, Tony Allen and Nick Gold, with the blessing and participation of Hugh Masekela’s estate, unearthed the original tapes and finished recording the album in summer 2019 at the same London studio where the original sessions had taken place.
‘Rejoice’ can be seen as the long overdue confluence of two mighty African musical rivers – a union of two free-flowing souls for whom borders, whether physical or stylistic, are things to pass through or ignore completely. According to Allen, the album deals in “a kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew”, with its roots firmly in Afrobeat. Allen and Masekela are accompanied on the record by a new generation of well-respected jazz musicians including Tom Herbert (Acoustic Ladyland / The Invisible), Joe Armon-Jones (Ezra Collective), Mutale Chashi (Kokoroko) and Steve Williamson.
World Circuit Records has made its reputation by producing some of the finest albums of the past three decades. The label is best known for the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club album (and associated solo artists Ibrahim Ferrer, Omara Portuondo and Rubén González), which is the biggest selling world music album of all time and has contributed to the phenomenal rise in popularity of Cuban, as well as Latin American, music.
World Circuit is also home to a number of revered African artists including iconic blues pioneer Ali Farka Touré (whose classic Grammy-winning ‘Talking Timbuktu’ album, recorded with Ry Cooder, brought the label early international acclaim), Malian divas and social activists Oumou Sangaré and Fatoumata Diawara, master kora player Toumani Diabaté, the illustrious Orchestra Baobab and musical iconoclast Cheikh Lô. World Circuit continues to bring diverse, genre-defying music to a wider audience.
Robbers, Thugs and Muggers (O’Galajani)
Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)
Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony)
Obama Shuffle Strut Blues
- About Drift
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