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Hugh Masekela at Philharmonic Hall concert poster (1967), Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz album art (1973)

Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Jan 23rd, 2018. Artwork published in
circa May 1967
    Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

    Poster for Hugh Masekela’s concert at Philharmonic Hall, presented by Gary Keys & Del Shields. Copies are available from Milton Glaser’s website.

    On 12 May 1967 [not 1972, see comments], South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela played Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, New York City. The concert poster was designed by Milton Glaser. It depicts Masekela standing with his trumpet in hand, in a centered arrangement framed by stepped lines. The silhouette is filled with various patterns and ornaments, including stripes, dots, more stepped lines, and a fig leaf. The poster is printed in two colors. A third dark tone is added by overprinting red and green. As an eye-catcher, Glaser put a big smile on Masekela’s otherwise featureless solid black face. The typeface used for the artist’s name is a rarely seen style from Glaser’s own Baby Teeth. This variant with curved notches — and a likewise smiling ‘E’ — is shown as Glaser Baby Teeth Baroque in a 1971 catalog by Photo-Lettering, Inc. It can very well be that it was designed specifically for this poster.

    A few years later, the design was adapted for Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz, the fifteenth studio album by Masekela, recorded in Lagos, Nigeria in July 1973. When folded out, the front and back cover of the album show the silhouette from head to knees. The drawing is not a direct extract from the poster, but has been redone. There are a few small differences, see e.g. the fingers, the angles of the lines on the bottom right, or the shape of the ornament on the chest. The color palette here has been extended to red, gold and green. The inner gatefold is printed in a single red color and repeats some of the ornaments.

    Hugh Masekela passed away today, aged 78.

    Source: Mango DJoos (edited). License: All Rights Reserved.

    Front and back cover of Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz, Blue Thumb Records, 1973.

    Source: flycastlb (edited). License: All Rights Reserved.

    Inner gatefold with track listing and credits.


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    1 Comment on “Hugh Masekela at Philharmonic Hall concert poster (1967), Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz album art (1973)”

    1. Jan 23rd, 2018  3:10 pm

      There is some controversy regarding the date of the concert poster. Glaser gives a 1972 date: “Although I did this in the early seventies, it still has a lot of the sixties in it.” Other sources say it was five years earlier, in 1967. In both these years, May 12 fell on a Friday.

      A digitization of Jet magazine’s issue from 20 April 1967 includes the note: “Philharmonic Hall will be the site of South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela’s May 12 concert.” In the light of this and the fact that Glaser’s other iconic posters for concerts at Philharmonic Hall (Simon & Garfunkel, Mahalia Jackson, The Lovin’ Spoonful) were designed in 1967, the earlier date appears to be more plausible. “If you remember the ’60s …”

      I’ve changed the entry to reflect this.

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