Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hugh Masekela BBC4

Hugh Masekela (1)Image by H.L.I.T. via Flickr
Enjoyed last night's Welcome to South Africa, profiling Jazz trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela.

Having seen the silver-trumpeted one live a couple of times, I was both mesmerized by some of the songs featured, and a little unsure about the choice of the predominately white British choir accompanying him at the Barbican, where he played his 70th Birthday concert last December.

Only when I spotted choir-master Gareth Malone on stage for the final song did I put the pieces together and, with a bit of help from google, figure out that the choir was the London Symphony Orchestra's St Luke's Community Choir and that the concert featured on the programme was probably the last performance of the choir with Malone as musical director.

To me, the performances lacked something of the rawness and energy of Masekela's younger days, but the fusion of the orchestra, choir, jazz, mbaqanga, Hugh's gravelly voice and his silky smooth trumpet playing did, without a doubt, create a beautiful sound.

If you missed the programme, it's on iPlayer right here (but only for seven days, you know how it goes).

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