Hailing from Cameroon, but living now in France, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Blick Bassy is creating a fresh, new sound with stunning vocals, banjo and luscious soundscapes from his bandmates. His new album, Akö with his comrades Clément Petit on cello and Johan Blanc on trombone, are raising eyebrows with their totally original tribute to Skip James. Blick sings in his native tongue, Bassa, one of very few. We caught up with Blick Bassy and hung backstage after an incredible show at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium.
This week we revisit a classic interview with Hugh Masekela from 2013.
Hugh Masekela is the most well known jazz musician from Africa. His first big hit was in 1968 and he has sold millions of albums, won multiple Grammys and worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Dizzy Gillespie. Fresh off a tour with Paul Simon, he and his band are super-refined, with perfect vocal harmonies, deep grooves, and inspired improvisations. Masekela is considered a legend of South African Music and the apartheid struggle, but that’s not how he see’s it.
I got to spend sometime backstage with him and now so do you!
Here’s one quote from the interview:
“I never had a career, I had an obsession with music. And my obsession with it, and maybe a little gift that I had, threw me into the area, but my aim, even when I came overseas, was to learn and to study and everything else is a coincidence. But I didn’t plan to make it for myself. If you look at anybody who is out there to make it for themselves they self-destruct. They become very big and then they self-destruct. As long as you’ve got the “me” thing in your head you’re doomed.” – Hugh Masekela
Walter Becker, co-founder of Steely Dan, passed away this week. Today, I went digging through my archives and found a 2010 interview we recorded upon the release of Roger Rosenberg’s Baritonality, an album Becker produced. I found it and wanted to share it immediately. Walter’s open spirit, humility, and excitement about the big and small things around music all come through. We’ll listen to some excerpts from that album and share the complete free wheeling conversation with jazz critic, John Coltelli, myself and the great Walter Becker.