Herb Alpert & Hugh Masekela – Herb Alpert / Hugh Masekela (1978)

Herb Alpert and Hugh Masekela – Herb Alpert / Hugh Masekela
Vinyl rip in 24 bit 196 khz | Art at 600 and 300 dpi
24-bit 192 khz 1.29 GB |24-bit 96 khz – 688 MB |16-bit 44.1 khz – 232 MB
1978 Horizon / A&M Records Sp 728  |  Jazz-Funk / Jazz / African

1. Skokiaan (Tom Glazer, August Msarurgwa) 3:37
2. Moonza (Caiphus Semenya, Herb Alpert) 4:38
3. Ring Bell (George David Weiss, Jerry Ragovoy) 3:24
4. Happy Hanna (Caiphus Semenya, Hotep Cecil Barnard) 4:58
5. El Lobo (The Wolf) (Edu Lobo) 7:20
6. African Summer (Caiphus Semenya) 3:20
7. I’ll Be There For You (Caiphus Semenya) 7:05

Produced by Caiphus Semenya, Herb Alpert, and Stewart Levine

Acoustic guitar – Tommy Tedesco (tracks: 5)
Arranged by – Caiphus Semenya, Herb Alpert, Hugh Masekela, Stewart Levine
Backing vocals – Caiphus Semenya, Herb Alpert, Hugh Masekela, Lani Hall, Letta Mbulu
Bass – Chuck Domanico
Bass – Louis Johnson (tracks: 1)
Co-producer – Hugh Masekela
Concertmaster – Gerald Vinci
Design – Chuck Beeson
Drums – Carlos Vega (tracks: 5), James Gadson, Spider Webb (tracks: 6)
Flugelhorn – Hugh Masekela
Flugelhorn, trumpet – Herb Alpert
French horn – Marylin L. Robinson, Sidney Isaac Muldrow
Guitar – Arthur Adams, Freddie Harris, Lee Ritenour
Guitar – Arthur Adams (tracks: 7)
Mastered by – Bernie Grundman
Orchestrated By – Donald Cooke
Percussion – Paulinho Da Costa
Piano – Caiphus Semenya, Hotep Cecil Barnard
Synthesizer – Craig Hindley (tracks: 4), Michael Boddicker (tracks: 6)
Synthesizer – Ian Underwood
Trombone – Donald Cooke, George Bohanon
Trombone (bass) – Maurice Spears

LINEAGE: Horizon/A&M SP 720 vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on very light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename. Transferred January 2018.

There are plenty of other Hugh Masekela albums that showcase his range and innovation, but this one is just plain fun.  Pure sunny L.A. bliss with a South African groove, it doesn’t delve as deep into the moody explorations that I love so much from Masekela’s albums from earlier in the decade.  Instead this one feels like a celebration of friendship.  Quite a lineup too.  It has many compositions by Caiphus Semenya, the South African expat, husband of singer Letta Mbulu (who also appears on this album), and musical arranger for many luminaries like Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, and Nina Simone.  Brazilian music, which features prominently in both Hugh and Herb’s careers, receives a nod with an exciting treatment of Edu Lobo’s “O Lobo.” However, this album is most famous for the track “I’ll Be There For You” which would become the theme song for the hit TV show Friends…

I noticed an online review that referenced the badn as “a bunch of L.A. session men.” Well, they’re not wrong, but damn there are some real standout names in those credits — Tommy Tedesco, James Gadson, Ian Underwood, Louis Johnson (of Brothers Johnson), Lee Ritenour, and Brazilian ex-pat Paulinho da Costa on percussion. It’s true that the overall sound is different than Masekela’s records with his own bands, but it’s lively and solid. The only CD pressing of this is apparently quite scarce, so I hope you take advantage of this share here.



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  1. I love both of these guys and so I’m excited about the pairing. Noticed your comment about the studio band and seeing Tommy Tedesco’s name listed at the top reminded me of the documentary I saw a week ago about The Wrecking Crew. These studio musicians (Tedesco, Glen Campbell, Carol Kaye, Don Randi, Hal Blaine, etc) pretty much ruled the airwaves for about a decade when people didn’t really care if a band played their own tracks or not and singles ruled the airwaves. Herb Alpert used them a lot because he just dug their excellent musicianship. Apparently some of the TJ Brass and others resented that a bit but they got tons of work because they were good and got the tracks laid down in minimal takes. A very cool documentary done by Tedesco’s son. Recommended if you get a chance to see it.

    • I saw most of this doc on Netflix and yeah, it’s pretty great. Maybe it goes on a little too long (which is why I only saw “most of it”, it was getting late) but I’ll have to finish the last 30-40 minutes at some point. It’s great to hear the interviews with Campbell while he was still able to remember those times, and Carol Kaye is just all-around awesome in every way.

  2. ….oh and THANK YOU Dr. Vibes!

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