‘Rejoice’ is a very special collaboration between Tony Allen, the co-founder of Afrobeat, and Hugh Masekela, the master of South African jazz. 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 afrobeat 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 Hugh passed away in 2018. With renewed resolution, Tony Allen and Nick Gold, with the blessing and participation of Hugh’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.
Release date: 20th March, 2020
Robbers, Thugs and Muggers (O'Galajani)
Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be the Same)
Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony)
Obama Shuffle Strut Blues