LISTEN: Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela Share Triumphant “Slow Bones” Off Collaborative LP

Slow Bones,” the latest track from Rejoice, the upcoming collaborative album from legendary African artists Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela, has been released. Listen to the track below…

The album—Masekela’s first posthumous release following his death in 2018—is set for release on March 20 via World Circuit Records.

“I don’t know why this track is called Slow Bones,” reveals Tony. “Hugh came up with all the song titles while we were recording in 2010, and we’ve left them exactly as he wrote them down. It’s amazing to think that it was 10 years ago. But everything eventually appears at the right time, for a reason.”

Allen previously premiered the album track “We’ve Landed,” stream/share HERE. The single finds Allen, in addition to his unique drumming style, contributing a hushed but celebratory, semi-spoken commentary. “The song is dedicated to today’s youth,” explains Tony, “the lyric addresses people at seventeen, eighteen, nineteen years old, who are slowly becoming more mature, finding out who they are and realizing that it’s their generation’s turn to wake up!”

Having first met in the ’70s thanks to their respective close associations with Fela Kuti, Allen, the Nigerian master drummer widely hailed as the co-founder of Afrobeat (and long-time member of alt-rock supergroup The Good The Bad & The Queen), and Masekela, South Africa’s legendary trumpet player, 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’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,” a description borne out by even a cursory earful of the parallel harmony horn hook and loping drums of “Agbada Bougou,” the propulsive percussive swing and brass chatter of “Coconut Jam” or the skittering snare drums of “Obama Shuffle Blues.”

Tony Allen will perform songs from Rejoice with a specially assembled band at shows throughout 2020, including two intimate sold out dates at London’s Church of Sound on March 12 and 13.

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