Hugh Masekela is a living legend, and his horn speaks volumes. He is a pioneer in the avenues of afro-jazz, and is a staple in music with infused African rhythms and instruments. While his music spans multiple genres at once, this post references his love of the origins of Jazz, as he remakes the timeless jazz standard, A Night in Tunisia, which was originally performed by Dizzy Gillespie. When hearing Masekela’s version, one thing that stands out is the rhythm section and bass, as it has the drive of Fela’s afrobeat, and the mellow trumpet and the subtlety of the other instruments are mere accompaniments. Another aspect of the song is the abstractness of the song towards the solos, which is reflective of a Miles Davis-esque quality, but even though the melody strays far away, the constant afrobeat foundation stays. Listen to this commonly overlooked fused version of the timeless jazz classic, and then you can enjoy the original which preceded Masekela’s by at least 25 years.
Since the songs birth in the 40’s there have been countless versions of this song, and many of the versions were recorded by some of the greatest names in jazz music. This song has been handed down from generation to generation, and it still holds true after all these years.