Hedzoleh Soundz
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Hedzoleh Soundz
cat. MEA041SNDWLP019
release LP + Digital
release date November 11th
mastering
distribution Rush Hour
artist page

Hedzoleh Soundz were one of the first and most original ‘Afro’ bands from 1970s Ghana, playing an unusual mix of traditional music and western rock as part of the West African Highlife scene. They met South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela in late 1973, the music for the ‘Hedzoleh’ album used by Masekela as the backbone to his afo-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, tired of the American jazz scene. 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 a guest!
 
Managed and created by 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 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.
 
Hedzoleh Soundz is the beautifully engaging and trumpetless Highlife/Afrobeat original able to turn many heads. A first reissue in 2010 introduced this original to the world, now it is here again remastered and with a remix album coming up.

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