Legendary African jazz masters have teamed up for the upcoming album Rejoice, out March 20 via the newly re-launched World Circuit Records.
In terms of jazz from the African continent, the union of Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela is as massive as it gets.
The two musicians first met in the ’70s thanks to their respective close associations with Fela Kuti, and talked for decades about making an album together. When, in 2010, their touring schedules coincided in the U.K., 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, were in archival slumber until after Masekela passed away in 2018.
This past summer, Allen and Gold–with the blessing and participation of Masekela’s estate–unearthed the original tapes and finished recording the album at the same London studio where the original sessions had taken place.
For this record, the two titans 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.
“The song is dedicated to today’s youth,” explains Tony Allen. “The lyric addresses people at seventeen, eighteen, nineteen years old, who are slowly becoming more mature, finding out who they are and realizing that it’s their generation’s turn to wake up!”
- Robbers, Thugs and Muggers (O’Galajani)
- Agbada Bougou
- Coconut Jam
- Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)
- Slow Bones
- Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony)
- Obama Shuffle Strut Blues
- We’ve Landed
Listen to the album’s most excellent first single “We’ve Landed” below. It’s so, so good.
AUDIO: Tony Allen/Hugh Masekela “We’ve Landed”