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Hedzoleh Soundz - Hedzoleh



Hedzoleh Soundz
Hedzoleh Soundz - Hedzoleh
(CD/2LP) Soundway Records SNDWCD019/SNDWLP019, 2010-04-26

Hedzoleh Soundz were one of the first and most original 'Afro' bands from 1970s Ghana playing an unusual mix of traditional music from across the country tinged with western rock. They were residents at the notorious Napoleon nightclub where they met South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela in late 1973. The music for the Hedzoleh album would later be used by Masekela as the backbone to his afro-jazz classic, Masekela - Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz. The original musical score is now re-mastered and repackaged (yet retaining the outlandish original artwork), available thru Soundway Records on CD & LP.

Hedzoleh Soundz
Hedzoleh Soundz - Hedzoleh
(CD/2LP) Soundway Records SNDWCD019/SNDWLP019, 2010-04-26

Tracklisting :
01. Rekpete
02. Mee Bee (When)
03. Yei Baa Gbe Wo
04. Kaa Ye Oyai (Don't be in a hurry)
05. Omusu Da Fe M'Musu
06. Hedzoleh!
07. Hearts Ne Kotoko
08. Mo Oso Obu Naa

Links :
soundwayrecords.com

Press Release :
Hedzoleh Soundz were one of the first and most original 'Afro' bands from 1970s Ghana playing an unusual mix of traditional music from across the country tinged with western rock. They were residents at the notorious Napoleon nightclub where they met South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela in late 1973. The music for the 'Hedzoleh' album would later be used by Masekela as the backbone to his afro-jazz classic, “Masekela - Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz”.

Masekela met Hedzoleh Soundz through an introduction from Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti. In the early 70s, he had been thinking of recording with West African musicians as he was tiring of the American jazz scene and Hedzoleh fitted the bill perfectly. All but two of the compositions on Masekela's album were written by Hedzoleh so it could be argued that Masekela's classic was in fact Hedzoleh's album with Masekela acting as the guest!

Managed and created by the enigmatic producer Faisal Helwani, Hedzoleh were originally formed in 1972 and consisted of musicians from rock and pop backgrounds plus individuals from the Ghanaian Arts Council's traditional music troupe. By 1972, the group had recorded only two 45s on the tiny Bibini label in Ghana, and had a minor hit with the song Rekpete. The original leader of the band Lash Laryea (formerly of the afro-rock band The Aliens), had just quit so Stanley Todd, the bass player and vocalist from 'El Pollos' band, stepped in and it was at this point that they recorded their self titled LP at the EMI Nigeria studio. The original trumpetless Hedzoleh sound hasn't had a chance to be heard for nearly 40 years…until now.

About Hedoleh Soundz :
Hedzoleh Soundz, the internationally acclaimed West African Highlife group, has performed with Hugh Masekela, Santana, the Pointer Sisters, Ali Farka Toure, Babatunde Olatunju, Mongo Santamaria, Abbey Lincoln, Freddie Hubbard and others. In the early 1970's, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela experienced the creative genius of Hedzoleh Soundz. Recognizing the band's unique style, he subsequently recorded two albums featuring Hedzoleh Soundz. "Hugh Masekela Introduces Hedzoleh Soundz", and "I am not Afraid" exposed the group to hungry audiences in Australia, West Africa, Germany, France, and the United States. Drawing upon the rhythmic traditions of their native Ghana, Hedzoleh Soundz combines traditional African and contemporary western instrumentation. Their unique African sound blends songs in Ghanaian languages with a style that has become known as "West African Highlife". Highlife or "kolomashie" music had its beginnings centuries ago along the coast of Ghana, were fishermen created a distinct rhythmic style of percussion. This traditional percussive style blended with the instrumentation of American Jazz and Latin music to become what is known today as Highlife. Hedzoleh Soundz, the original West African Highlife band, sparked the spread of the infectious dance beat throughout the continent of Africa. Europe too, was taken with the captivating pulse of this talented group. Hedzoleh Soundz emerged as the premier group, returning this popular music to its roots by incorporating traditional instruments and attire in their stellar performances. Hedzoleh Soundz continues to explore the universal message of inner peace through their original compositions. Whether performing on tour, presenting workshops, or sharing their talent and vision through schools and community centers, Hedzoleh Soundz remains a legendary inspiration to audiences worldwide.
Djouls

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