- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1st edition (May 11, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0609609572
- ISBN-13: 978-0609609576
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela Hardcover – May 11, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In America, South African trumpeter Masekela is most known for "Grazing in the Grass," which reached number one on U.S. pop charts in 1968. But in the almost 40 years since, Masekela has been a huge star in Europe and Africa, recording more than 40 albums and constantly touring. The first part of this lengthy autobiography-written with Ebony magazine editor Cheers-covers from Masekela's birth in 1939 to his flight to the U.S in 1960, offering a detailed look at life under the racist system of apartheid in which his trumpet became his "personal choice of weapon." The middle section is a virtual history of American music in the 1960s, from Masekela raising U.S interest in African music along with singer Miriam Makeba to his becoming friends with everyone from jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie (who introduced him to Miles Davis) to rock star David Crosby (who introduced him to LSD). The final section moves from Masekela's international adventures, including playing with Nigerian musician Fela and watching the Ali-Forman fight in Zaire to garnering critical praise in the late 1980s with his musical Sarafina and touring with Paul Simon in support of Simon's Graceland album. Masekela's story too often pauses to detail the constant womanizing and nonstop drug and alcohol abuse from which he has recently recovered. But it also offers excellent descriptions of his musical accomplishments, which he beautifully defines as "a potpourri of the music of the African Diaspora."
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Masekela enjoyed 1960s pop-chart success with the jazzy instrumental "Grazing in the Grass" and later joined Paul Simon on his Graceland tour; collaborated with the late, great Fela; and organized the Rumble in the Jungle world-music event in Zaire. Exiled by the apartheid South African government, Masekela, like Fela, campaigned openly and constantly for human rights and even spoke publicly about his sister's death from AIDS, despite familial and societal disapproval. Such notable musicians as Masekela's former wife Miriam Makeba, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie and political figures Nelson Mandela, Stokely Carmichael, and Malcolm X all figure in Masekela's life, so that his book is as much about his activism as about his music. Consider it a must-have item of world-music documentation and a revealing chronicle of growing up black under apartheid and living long enough to see that pernicious system fall. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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Gives a clear picture of life in the Pre and Apartheid era. His life is an amazing journey and his experiences abroad, such as with music great like Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder and Tabu Ley are very interesting. Filled a lot of gaps and holds quite a number of surprises.
A great deal of history stuffed into this book. Even more rewarding for me than Mile Davis' autobiography which was excellent in its own right.