Reissue the CD version already !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jaap-Jan de Greef | Parrish, Florida USA | 07/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the recent reissues of Herp Alpert & the Tijuana Brass albums, this one he made in conjunction with Hugh Masekela is sorely lacking. It is an absolutely fabulous album, with happy uplifting music. Skokiaan is of course an old African favorite, and Herp and Hugh do a great job on this version. 'Happy Hannah' is wonderful. On CD this album would do fantastic at happenings, cookouts where the host would like to create a pleasant stimulating atmosphere or just to play it while doing things around the house.
It is high time this album gets reissued on CD. The fact that it is actually being offered used at over $100 is indicative of the value of this super album."
The world right now is sorely in need of this kind of music
Walter Bonam | New Orleans, LA, USA | 04/29/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got this album on vinyl when it first came out in the late 1970s, but lost my copy (along with the equipment needed to play it) in the flooding from Hurricane Katrina. I was reminded of how much I missed it when I heard on the radio a few minutes ago a version of one of the songs from it ("Skokiaan") by local (New Orleans) trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. Ruffins is a great guy and a capable player, but his "Skokiaan" can't hold a candle to the version done all those years ago by Alpert and Masekela.
At the time I first heard this album, I was the music editor of an Atlanta publication called "Creative Loafing." In that capacity, I received dozens of free review copies of records and the opportunity to go out practically every night for club and concert performances, at no cost to me. Naturally, after a while I became as jaded about music as a prostitute probably does about sex. It took a lot to get me enthused about a record or a performance.
In that context, "Herb Alpert/Hugh Masekela" managed to get my attention and win my affection with its irresistibly infectious combination of sunny melodies and African rhythms. Not quite jazz, but not fitting neatly into any other musical pigeonhole, either, this music has the power to transport the listener to an African savannah on a cloudless day, there to watch water buffalo leisurely enjoying a watering hole while gazelles cavort nearby. There's a purity and simplicity about tunes like "Ring Bell," "Happy Hanna," and "African Summer" that makes them timeless, and they're played with an apparently effortless ease. American Alpert and South African partner Masekela (along with their stellar bandmates) simply sound as if they were born to make music together. They sound as if they were born to make THIS music together.
In a nutshell, the music on this record is a perfect respite from a world rife with economic distress and cynical political wrangling. The world truly NEEDS this kind of music right now, but no one's playing stuff quite like this these days. That's why it's criminal that this record is out of print, and used CD copies start at $78.00. (Were I to buy one of the cheaper vinyl copies available online, I'd still need to invest in new equipment to play it on.) Especially in light of Alpert, a co-founder of the record label, literally being the "A" in A & M Records, I can't fathom the label allowing this music to fade away. I hope other folks will join me in appealing to the company (e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org) to reissue this, preferably in a pristinely remastered CD format. If you've heard this music, you'll know why I say that, and if you haven't heard it, you need to.