Hugh Masekela's new compilation album consists of songs from the late South African jazz legend's albums released between 1965 and 1974.
The Hugh Masekela Heritage Foundation and Universal Music (South Africa) released Township Grooves, a new compilation album by Hugh Masekela on Friday, 16 May, which could have been the late jazz legend's 81st birthday.
The songs on Township Grooves were picked from various albums released between 1965 and 1974. Bra Hugh's nephew Mabusha Masekela was largely involved in putting together Township Grooves. The project consists of songs such as "Sharpeville," "Vuca," "Grazing in the Grass" and a 1965 live rendition of "U-Dwi" among other gems.
The release acts as a time capsule as it captures a period in Bra Hugh's life in which his music was meeting different influences as he found himself settling in places like London and New York. His township-centric sound and approach would, however, remain a constant in his music alongside the different influences he was incorporating. Which explains the album's title.
Township Grooves' cover art, a striking portrait of Bra Hugh, was illustrated by renowned South African artist Nelson Makamo.
Hugh Masekela passed away in 2018 to prostate cancer. His last studio album No Borders was released in 2016. Even after his death, the musician has remained in the hearts and playlists of many people across the globe. Township Blues is a comfort gift for his fans to zoom in on an era of the musician's career.