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”Rejoice” is a collaborative jazz/afrobeat album by Nigerian drummer Tony Allen and South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, released by World Circuit on 20th March 2020.
The original recording sessions took place in London in 2010 under the direction of World Circuit’s Nick Gold, capturing the historic first meeting of these two African music legends. Following Masekela’s demise in 2018, supplementary tracks were recorded in London’s Livingston Studios during the summer of 2019. The album, which comprises eight tracks written by Allen and Masekela, serves as the final studio work for Masekela and also marks the last studio album by Tony Allen, who passed away on 30th April 2020.
The track “Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be the Same)” pays homage to Fela Kuti, a pivotal figure through whom Allen and Masekela first crossed paths in the 1970s.
“Rejoice” received widespread critical acclaim, garnering a Metacritic score of 82 based on eight reviews, indicating “universal acclaim.” Album of the Year assessed a critical consensus of 81 out of 100 based on four reviews.
Reviewers praised the album’s warmth and uplifting quality. Nigel Williamson of Uncut described it as “a fitting last will and testament from Masekela” and a “glorious affirmation of music at its most potent and universal.” Bruce Lindsay from Jazz Journal commented that the ten-year effort invested in creating “Rejoice” was worth the wait, lauding it as a celebratory, groove-laden, thoughtful, and danceable collection from two eminent figures in music. Joel Campbell of The Voice viewed “Rejoice” as the confluence of two mighty African musical rivers, celebrating the union of two free-flowing souls. George De Stefano of PopMatters commended the album’s ability to uplift spirits during a pandemic, describing it as a posthumous reminder of Hugh Masekela’s musical prowess and Tony Allen’s enduring vitality at 80 years old.
A1 Robbers, Thugs And Muggers (O'Galajani)
A2 Agbada Bougou
A3 Coconut Jam
A4 Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same)
B1 Slow Bones
B2 Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony)
B3 Obama Shuffle Strut Blues
B4 We've Landed
C1 Robbers, Thugs And Muggers (O'Galajani) (Cool Cats Mix)
C2 Agbada Bougou (Cool Cats Mix)
C3 Coconut Jam (Cool Cats Mix)
C4 Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) (Cool Cats Mix)
D1 Slow Bones (Cool Cats Mix)
D2 Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony) (Cool Cats Mix)
D3 Obama Shuffle Strut Blues (Cool Cats Mix)
D4 We've Landed (Cool Cats Mix)
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