Phola …

For a black musician South Africa was a very tough place in 1959. Inspired by Art Blakely’s Jazz Messengers some relatively unknown young musicians formed The Jazz Epistles and recorded this track …

 

It was an even tougher place a year later after the Sharpville Massacre. Most of the band found themselves in exile. Abdullah Ibrahim (piano), Kippie Moeketsi (reeds) and Hugh Masekela (trumpet) went on to become the aristocracy of South African Jazz.

Hugh Masekela died the other day (January 23, 2018) age 78.

Much of his music concerned the struggle against apartheid but let’s hear something gentle on the flugelhorn. Farewell Hugh Masekela …

Christmas is coming …

And turkeys everywhere are trembling.

My favorite Christmas carol is easy to pick, choosing which version is much harder. Here are a couple that I like, take your pick (or point me to a better one) …

Interestingly, it was totally unfamiliar to me until I was called on to play it about three years ago.