From the Vault...


Hugh Masekela
"The Promise Of A Future"

© MCA/Special Products/One Year of Release: 1968

track listing
  • Ain't No Mountain
    High Enough
  • Madonna
  • No Face No Name And
    No Number
  • Almost Seedless
  • Stop
  • Grazing In The Grass
  • Vuca
  • Bajabulka Bonke
    (The Healing Song)
  • There Are Seeds To Sow

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    Hugh Masekela
    "The Promise Of A Future"

    Hugh Masekela was a jazz artist from the late 1960s, who, like Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, developed a pop/jazz sound. Mostly instrumental, as Alpert, Hugh Masekela's The Promise Of A Future would produce his most popular hit, the #1 "Grazing In The Grass." The soul group The Friends Of Distinction would place their vocals to the music of "Grazing" and became popular as well, but it was Masekela's instrumental that would be the most recognized. What makes The Promise Of A Future are the jazzy instrumental tracks, and there are some vocal tracks on this release, yet it's the instrumentals that stand out.

    The instrumentals such as the motown classic "Ain't No Moutain High Enough," is a good jazz version, taken from the original by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. "Madonna" is another good jazz number, and it has a melody almost similar to the 1940s classic "That Old Black Magic," yet with a more contemporary jazz style.

    The jazz sound gets better with two more instrumentals: "No Face, No Name And No Number" is romantic, slow jazz, very much like the early years of Miles Davis. Likewise upbeat Miles Davis-type contemporary jazz is heard on "Almost Seedless."

    Vocals start with the song "Stop" -- It's soulful jazz, and assuming the vocalist is Hugh Masekela, his singing style is similar to Bob Marley. The remaining 3 songs of this release have vocals, and are compared to Bob Marley. "Vuca" is jazzy, yet with Masekela's vocals, it gives a reggae mix with jazz. "Bajabulka Bonke (The Healing Song)" and "There Are Seeds To Sow" may not be memorable, as his vocal style is a bit rougher, and has the reggae feel vocal wise.

    The instrumentals are the standouts on The Promise Of A Future. Contemporary, soulful jazz are best described for the best tunes, and for the remaining tunes, what would become later popular in the 1970s, Reggae. Jazz lovers of Miles Davis and John Coltrane will enjoy the instrunentals found here. The vocal songs will be the least favorites to listen to.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MCA/Special Products/One Way and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #876
    Laurie Anderson--Big Science
    Next Review: #878
    Jewel Akens--The Birds And The Bees: The Best Of Jewel Akens