Hugh Masekela - Hugh Masekela & the Union of South Africa

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rovi.MR0001906778 7/19/94 New
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Review Text Hugh Masekela & the Union of South Africa is an inspired mix of soul, highlife, and even New Orleans jazz. This works excellently on the old-fashioned "Goin' Back to New Orleans" and the fast-moving "Ade" and "Dyambo" where horn lines, call-and-response singing, and funky guitars, together with African rhythms, create furious dance music. But some of the slower numbers seem to be left without direction, a fact that is only partly covered by Masekela's trumpet playing. The closing "Hush (Somebody's Calling My Name)," though, is a great exception to that, with simple basslines and chorus, and slow-building energy. But if the mix of cultural influences is the strength of Hugh Masekela & the Union of South Africa, it may also be the weakness of the album; the difference between the groove-based "Ade," jazzier numbers like "Caution," and African highlife songs like "Shebeen" and "Johannesburg Hi-Lite Jive" is so big you'd think they belong on separate albums, and they may not appeal to the same audience. Hugh Masekela & the Union of South Africa was originally released on Masekela's own label, Chisa, and was re-released in 1994 on Motown. ~ Lars Lovén

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Release Date
7/19/94 

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