AOTW: HERB ALPERT/HUGH MASEKELA (SP-728)

Captain Bacardi

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Herb Alpert & Hugh Masekela
HERB ALPERT/HUGH MASEKELA

A&M/Horizon SP-728


Released 1978
Peaked at #7 on the Jazz Album chart and #65 on the Pop Album chart (1978)

Format: Vinyl/8-Track/Cassette/CD

Produced by Stewart Levine, Herb Alpert & Caiphus Semenya
Associate Producer: Hugh Masekela

Songs:
  • 1. Skokiaan (P.D. This Arr. - Caiphus Semenya/Hugh Masekela/Herb Alpert) - 3:37
    2. Moonza (Caiphus Semenya/Herb Alpert) - 4:38
    3. Ring Bell (George Weiss/Jerry Ragovoy) - 3:24
    4. Happy Hanna (Hotep Cecil Barnard/Caiphus Semenya) - 4:58
    5. Lobo (Edu Lobo) - 7:20
    6. African Summer (Caiphus Semenya) - 3:20
    7. I'll Be There For You (Caiphus Semenya) - 7:05

    Arranged by Caiphus Semenya, Hugh Masekela, Stewart Levine and Herb Alpert

    Horns Arranged by Caiphus Semenya
    Orchestrations by Donald Cooke
    Strings Arranged by Jimmy Jones
    String Concert Master: Gerald Vinci

Musicians:
Herb Alpert - Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Hugh Masekela - Flugelhorn
James Gadson - Drums
Chuck Domanico - Bass
Lee Ritenour - Guitar
Freddie Harris - Guitar
Arthur Adams - Guitar, Solo (7)
Hotep Cecil Barnard - Piano
Paulinho Da Costa - Percussion
Caiphus Semenya - Piano
Ian Underwood - Synthesizers
Louis Johnson - Bass (1)
Craig Hindley - Synthesizer (4)
Carlos Vega - Drums (5)
Tommy Tedesco - Acoustic Guitar Solo (5)
Michael Boddicker - Synthesizer (6)
Spider Webb - Drums (6)
Trombones - Donald W. Cooke, George Bohanon, Maurice Spears
French Horns: Sidney Isaac Muldrow, Marilyn L. Robinson
Background Vocals: Letta Mbulu, Lani Hall, Caiphus Semenya, Hugh Masekela and Herb Alpert

Recorded at A&M Recording Studios, Hollywood, California
Engineered by Don Hahn
Assistant Engineers: John Beverly Jones and Derek Dunann
Mastered at A&M Recording Studios by Bernie Grundman

Art Direction: Roland Young
Design: Chuck Beeson
Photography: Roland Young (Front Cover and Inner Sleeve) and Bonnie Schiffman (Back Cover)



Capt. Bacardi
 

Harry

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I was just thinking about this album recently. On our recent long plane flights to the west coast and then Hawaii and back, I got to listen to a lot of music on the MP3 player. This was one of the albums I chose to listen to straight through, and it still sounds great after all these years.

There isn't a bad track on the whole album, but "Lobo" remains my favorite.

I still recall the time back when I first got the album and heard the soaring "Lobo". A Herb Alpert track hadn't really moved me like that since "The Sea Is My Soil". Yet, being new in radio, I felt compelled to come up with what a shortened single version of the record would sound like.

So using my simple but crude editing tools of the day (splicing block, razor blade, splicing tape, and of course my reel-to-reel recorder) I set about making my own single edit.

It worked out pretty well as far as I was concerned, though my edit left in very little of the jazzy stuff and instead concentrated on the poppier sounding parts.

Later, when I obtained the single edits of three of the tracks on one 12" record, I got to compare my own edit with the "pros." I think mine was a bit over-simplified whereas the professional job left in some of the jazzier parts.

One of my prized albums and CDs.

Harry
 

Harry

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Yes, as I recall, it was one of the first digi-pak packages. It sports an A&M Jazz label.

Harry
 

Mike

Active Member
For me, I enjoy "Herb Alpert-Hugh Masekela" and "Main Event Live!" when I crank up the stereo a little louder than my norm. The extra loudness seems to bring out more of the nuances that really enhances these two LPs.

Mike
 

Doug

New Member
By far one of my favorite Herb Alpert (Non TJB) albums along with Main Event Live. I recently found the Herb Alpert-Hugh Masekela CD at a local used CD store and have been listening to it a lot. Moonza is my favorite track with Lobo a close second.
 

Captain Bacardi

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I think there's a couple of great things about this album. First of all, it sounds like Herb was having a lot of fun on this project, as there is a lot of excitement throughout this recording. Second, this was a great way to break out of the TJB mode that people kept wanting to put him in. I keep thinking that he realized that there was life after the Brass. I remember an interview he did where this album had been played on black radio stations, and it was the first time he thought his music was played on those stations. This was an important stepping stone to where he would eventually go.

As far as the music goes, it's simply great. "Skokiaan" is a perfect opener for the high flying horns. I really love the guitar work on this track and "Moonza". "Happy Hanna" is another fave of mine. But the true highlight is "Lobo" in all its glory (sorry Harry :wink: ). Love the bass solo, Tommy Tedesco's acoustic guitar and the drums and percussion work. This got a lot of airplay in its day.

Of course, "African Summer" is most likely all Herb, since it was the 'B' side of the "You In Me" single that was released in 1977. Just an excellent album all around. This should be near the top of Herb's solo reissues!



Capt. Bacardi
 

Mike Blakesley

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I still have this on my original LP and have not listened to it in years. My favorite song was "Skokiaan" and I remember not liking the rest so much, but I think if I listened again now, I might find more to like. Might have to get the old needle-drop machine fired up.
 

Mike

Active Member
You see, this is one of the nice things about an AOTW thread, especially the Jazz AOTW; it reminds one of albums that perhaps they haven’t listened to in a long time. You read the initial post, and then you dig into the archive and dust off the LP, maybe even dust off the old turntable and give the record a spin. Then the music starts and one finds themself being transported back in time, old memories stirred, thoughts of old friends, girl friends, the time you went to a concert and heard the song live… it’s the miracle of music.

In this case, I didn’t need to dust off an old LP, I have the CD. But, it had been awhile since I listened to it. In fact, I listened to it at work and some people asked me if it was a new CD, and who was the band playing? I guess one could say that it’s really good jazz when it sounds fresh over 30 years after it was recorded.

Mike
 

Dave

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Two pedigree musicians get together, reminding you of what made them great in the first place...!



Dave
 

Mike Blakesley

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I guess one could say that it’s really good jazz when it sounds fresh over 30 years after it was recorded.
I guess that's the coolest thing about jazz, it doesn't seem to "date" the way pop music does.
 

Harry

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Captain Bacardi said:
But the true highlight is "Lobo" in all its glory (sorry Harry :wink: ).
No need to apologize - I like the full-blown, full-length version too. My aim back in the day was to create a "radio-ready" track. A 7+ minute track was almost never a consideration for a radio station, and I thought the "hooks" in that track were incredible (still do!).

But for sheer listening pleasure, give me the 7:24 version any day.

Harry
 
A CD? Wow; I looked everywhere for one and could not track one down. I just have the vinyl.

I love the recording... kind of a natural post-tjb kind of direction for Herb. Same good natured, exuberant approach, but with a different, kinda African/Caribbean groove. We do 3 of the tunes from the record in our TJB tribute band... Ring Bell, Happy Hanna, and Skokiaan. These tunes are a nice change of pace, but a natural fit in a concert of TJB music. Skokiaan is great in the middle of a concert... the guitar riff at the top gets everybody's energy level up a bit--including the band's :wink: . And there's room at the end to extend the trumpet solos a little bit (which is not really possible with the TJB tunes).

Incidentally, Skokiaan has a long and interesting history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skokiaan

Dan
 

Mike

Active Member
Nice pic, Harry.

I wonder why "Main Event Live" wasn't released on CD. I think it's just as good (maybe a little better) as "Herb & Hugh".

Well, either way, I've got my needle drop of Main Event and it sounds great!

Mike
 

Rudy

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4haverstocks said:
A CD? Wow; I looked everywhere for one and could not track one down. I just have the vinyl.
I have only seen it once in the stores. I came across a used copy not long after it came out, and I bought it. It is none too common on CD.

4haverstocks said:
Incidentally, Skokiaan has a long and interesting history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skokiaan
That was good reading. Thanks! One version missing in the list (or I missed seeing it) was by Spike Jones on RCA, featuring vocals by Freddie Morgan. The Perez Prado version is from the Mambo Mania album, so I knew this song long before the Alpert/Masekela version came along.
 

Rudy

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Oh, and BTW: I have never found out the true name of the song "Lobo," which was written by Edu Lobo. I'd like to find it on whatever album Edu may have had it on.
 

rickster

New Member
Yeah, "Main Event" was better. The track "She-Been" off that album got a lot of FM airplay when that came out and I always wondered why that was not a hit single for the guys.
 

Harry

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Our thought was that the song "Lobo" probably wasn't originally actually titled "Lobo" and that it was given that title by Herb for inclusion on the album. It's not without precedent that a song has multiple titles on different albums by different artists. My guess is that the song really had no other title, was given to Herb by Edu Lobo, and that no-one else of note has managed to record it.

Here's a banner ad that was used to promote the first Alpert/Masekela album. Note that the design of the ad preceeded and foretold the artwork style for the MAIN EVENT LIVE album.



Harry
 
Harry said:
Our thought was that the song "Lobo" probably wasn't originally actually titled "Lobo" and that it was given that title by Herb for inclusion on the album. It's not without precedent that a song has multiple titles on different albums by different artists. My guess is that the song really had no other title, was given to Herb by Edu Lobo, and that no-one else of note has managed to record it.
I bet you're right, I believe Alpert would have the song renamed with some English title if he did that. That would be pointless to rename it for some other Portuguese title.
 
Wait a minute, the track 7, the instrumental phrase that starts off at 01:04m, I KNOW it, it is familiar to me, I was trying to remember where exactly did it come from, I just knew I heard it with Portuguese lyrics!! After some meditation, I could recall it was from some Chico Buarque's song and I had recently listened to it sung by Fafá de Belém, the song is Minha história (Gesu bambino), so it is a version of some other song, I searched it on Google and it is a version Chico Buarque recorded of the Italian tune, Gesu bambino, written by Paola Pallotino and Lucio Dalla!

So I searched it on Youtube to check Dalla's original recording:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4lg-3iQkIk

Appearently the song has one more title, 4 marzo 1943, whatever that means. There are a couple of different notes on Dalla's phrasing however. Anyway, it's still very recognizable throughout the song, the lines after 01:09m are sung in the exactly same notes, just as Chico Buarque's almost entire version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8RCT_Jm9Pg&feature=fvst

So WHAT'S the story behind this??? I Google searched this Caiphus Semenya person and it seems he's been around doing music since the 60's, at least (probably earlier). Did Dalla plagiarized Semenya? Has he recorded this track, I'll be there for you, before Dallas did his Gesu bambino/4 marzo 1943, whatever it is called? On Google and Youtube I seemed to read Dallas' and Buarque's recordings were both made in 1971, did Semenya recorded I'll be there for you before that? Or did Semenya plagiarized Dalla???
 

David S

Active Member
Main Event is great. Love Besame Mucho on it. Love hearing Jonas Gwangwa. Caiphus Semenya has composed some beautiful tunes. See Masekel'a recording of Ziph'nkomo. It's lovely. Really hope Mr Alpert does indeed re-release both Herb/Hugh cd's - they could do it on one cd and I'd be perfectly happy...
 

Rudy

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thesmedman said:
. Really hope Mr Alpert does indeed re-release both Herb/Hugh cd's - they could do it on one cd and I'd be perfectly happy...
What would be even better is if they released more of the live gigs this album was made from. IIRC, they had performed some other songs in concert also. Probably plenty to fill out an 80 minute CD if not more.
 
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