The title of this New York City-recorded album suggests a combination of township jive and uptown Gotham soul and energy, but what we get is some of the former and little of the latter. Here, Masekela alternates South African-inflected pop/jazz with lugubrious covers of a couple of U.S. soul tunes (Gamble & Huff's "If You Don't Know Me by Now" and Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby") and a Bob Marley anthem, "No Woman, No Cry." While the covers are instantly disposable, even the South African-rooted tracks suffer from a lack of energy, not helped by the dull recorded sound. "Now or Never" is a leisurely stroll through the township; "Hold On" has a stuttering jive feeling to it where Masekela plays well but has little new to say. Altoist Morris Goldberg's contributions range from dreary jazz-lite clichés to some passages where he can spar effectively with Masekela, and the cast of the Broadway show Sarafina! provides some of the backing vocals.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell