Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela - Rejoice (Special Edition)
Rejoice’ is the classic collaboration between Tony Allen, the legendary drummer and co-founder of Afrobeat, and Hugh Masekela, the master trumpet player of South African jazz. The record, released to great acclaim in March 2020, became the first posthumous release from Masekela, and the last release from Allen, who sadly passed away a month later.
For this Special Edition, World Circuit have gone back to the original 2010 mixes and added previously unheard parts from the 2019 sessions to create 8 reimagined bonus mixes. The CD and LP releases also feature a booklet with sleeve notes and photos.
Having first met in the 70s thanks to their respective close associations with Fela Kuti, the two world-renowned musicians talked for decades about making an album together. When, in 2010, their touring schedules coincided in the UK, the moment presented itself and producer Nick Gold took the opportunity to record their encounter. The unfinished sessions, consisting of all original compositions by the pair, lay in archive until after Masekela passed away in 2018. With renewed resolution, Tony Allen and Nick Gold, with the blessing and participation of Hugh Masekela’s estate, unearthed the original tapes and finished recording the album in summer 2019 at the same London studio where the original sessions had taken place.
‘Rejoice’ can be seen as the long overdue confluence of two mighty African musical rivers – a union of two free-flowing souls for whom borders, whether physical or stylistic, are things to pass through or ignore completely. According to Allen, the album deals in “a kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew”, with its roots firmly in Afrobeat. Allen and Masekela are accompanied on the record by a new generation of well-respected jazz musicians including Tom Herbert (Acoustic Ladyland / The Invisible), Joe Armon-Jones (Ezra Collective), Mutale Chashi (Kokoroko) and Steve Williamson.
“Rejoice is a remarkably coherent blend of swing and Afrobeat, featuring some of Allen’s finest work to date
and Masekela’s inimitable horn melodies shining on numbers such as Agbada Bougou.” The Guardian
"A love letter that could only be written by two masters at the peak of their powers, a fitting send-off to a friend...it’s also a record defined by wisdom and experience. As it celebrates the end of one journey,
it looks hopefully upon the start of many new ones." 8.0/10 Pitchfork
“One of the African releases of the year.” 4/5 Evening Standard
“Worth the wait.” (Album of the Week) The Sunday Times
“Genuinely spectacular… stands alongside both artists’ greatest work.” 4/5 MOJO
“Warm, uplifting and fizzing with both passion and virtuosity, Rejoice is not only a fitting last will and testament from Masekela, but a glorious affirmation of music at its most potent and universal.” 9/10 Uncut
"Loose-limbed, laidback and effortlessly cool, the album is infused with unhurried, organic joy of playing” The Line of Best Fit