Dre - Chronic Dr. Eels - shootenanny! Gardiner; M. And then there were three Black Emperor - Yanqui U. E Incubus - S. Geils Band J. Cale - Number 10 J. Bach - Masters of Classical Music, Vol. Joe Jackson - Look Sharp! John Fogerty - Centerfield John G.
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Gardiner; M. And then there were three Black Emperor - Yanqui U. E Incubus - S. Geils Band J. Cale - Number 10 J. Bach - Masters of Classical Music, Vol. Joe Jackson - Look Sharp! John Fogerty - Centerfield John G. Wiener Philharmoniker - Beethoven. Symphonien Nos. Guns - Hollywood Vampires L. De Falla - El sombrero de tres picos - El amor brujo M. Rex - Unchained - Unreleased Recordings Vol. Keith Waters had never played a drum kit in a band before in his life.
But soon, everyone was pitching in on arrangements. Rapino even recently scored an original soundtrack for the band, bits of which they play live now. Their Western Front show this past Saturday was mobbed.
The saxes of Mekonnen and Abye Osman growled cop-show harmonies; the strings of Rapino and Kaethe Hostetter darted through jagged scales. Which is not to say Debo Band turn into organ-thumping evangelists when they head to Africa.
Other times the musicians lock into long instrumental grooves solely in service to the party vibe. The sounds are as vibrant and diverse as the ragtag players making them and the enthusiastic crowd dancing with abandon, a rare sight around here.
This is how Danny Mekonnen hears and processes the Ethiopian music he makes with Debo Band, an piece group he assembled in Mekonnen views Debo pronounced DEH-bo not as cultural tourism but rather as an outlet to explore and preserve his heritage as an Ethiopian-American raised in Texas and now living in Jamaica Plain. I just ask people to stick with me, and they have. Bigger news yet: Next month the group heads to Ethiopia to play a big music festival in Zanzibar called Sauti Za Busara.
It caps a long and resolute journey for the man who started the band. After spending time in Ghana, he came to Boston in to study jazz saxophone and ended up auditing classes at Berklee before enrolling in a graduate program in ethnomusicology at Harvard.
He has a pretty clear concept of what he wants to do musically, combining elements of classic Ethiopian with a more modern sensibility. He has a tradition-oriented but very forward-looking vision. He also notes that the group has inched closer to that goal after recently scoring a short film with 10 new instrumentals. If not yet revolutionizing Ethiopian music, Mekonnen at least sees Debo blazing other trails.
He was so proud. I realized then that Debo Band has given me a chance to embrace my Ethiopianness and to connect to my family in ways that I never would have imagined when I was 22 and trying to figure out who I was.
Musicawi Silt 2. Belomi Benna 3. Mignoten Man Yawkal 4. Lantchi Biye Labels: Debo Band. Anyone who worried that Bill T. True, this kinetic portrait of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a Nigerian revolutionary of song, has taken on some starry producers — including Shawn Carter Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith — and shed 15 or 20 minutes since it was staged Off Broadway last year.
But it has also acquired greater focus, clarity and intensity. For there has never been anything on Broadway like this production, which traces the life of Fela Kuti through the prism of the Shrine, the Lagos nightclub where Fela pronounced FAY-lah reigned not only as a performer of his incendiary songs which make up most of the score but also as the self-proclaimed president of his own autonomous republic.
As brought to the stage by Mr. That style is Afrobeat, an amalgam of diverse cultural elements that will be parsed and reassembled during the show by its performers and the wonderful Antibalas, an Afrobeat band out of Brooklyn.
Irresistible music is always more than its individual parts, though. The sum of them here captures the spirit of rebellion — against repression, inhibition and conformity — that dwells within all of us, but which most of us have repressed by early middle age. The form that spirit took in popular music in Nigeria in the s, though, was more visceral and more far-reaching than anything Broadway gave birth to. That was when Fela was at the height of his popularity as a recording star and political agitator who understandably frightened the Nigerian military dictatorship.
It was how his music said it. As choreographed by Mr. Somewhere along the way, the sounds of Chano Pozo and James Brown entered his aural landscape, and Fela heard a synthesis that he believed would change not only his life but all of Africa. The show covers a lot of biographical territory, ranging through the United States as well as Africa, though with far less strain than in its Off Broadway incarnation.
Jones uses his ravishing ensemble to evoke everything from joyous sensuality to the kind of governmental oppression that turns people into zombies. Both actors portraying the pot-smoking, sax-tooting Fela lead their ensemble, which winds up including us, with charismatic authority. Saycon Sengbloh shimmers as the seductress who introduces Fela to Marx and the American black-power movement. Fela called these beauties his queens, and they are hardly your traditional chorus line.
By the end of this transporting production, you feel you have been dancing with the stars. And I mean astral bodies, not dime-a-dozen celebrities.
Labels: Fela Kuti. Apr 15, The Budos Band: An interview from The group will be touring for their third album simply called The Budos Band III, an album filled with Afro-beats mixed with soul, dipped in funk, and peppered with a dash of rock that seems like it came straight out of the sixties. The amazing thing is that the group has only been around since and they have already travelled the world showcasing their intensive live shows filled with an energetic sound that no one can keep from dancing to.
Their sound is the very definition of booty-shaking and baby making music. When listening to their albums, the sounds that emanate from your speakers will call forth layers of spooky funk, salsa, and afro-beats that could raise Fela Kuti from the grave.
Devoid of any lyrics, the instrumental pieces are almost specifically designed to be a soundtrack for the next Quentin Tarantino movie. The new album takes the framework laid down by their first two albums and runs with it, heading into a darker sound that still keeps your butt shaking.
I corresponded with the Budos Band and asked them a few questions, Jared Tankel, the baritone saxophone player, responded. But this album gets much more inspiration from American psychedelic, rock and even metal music than any of our previous releases.
Is there a band leader or is it a collaborative process between all of the members? The writing process is pretty collaborative. Tom and Dan our guitar and bass players work out a lot of the rhythm sections together. Andrew and I write most of the Hold On Tight (Reeloop) - Various - Trance - The Ultimate Collection Vol.
2 2003 (CD) melodies. Brian our drummer is very involved in the arranging of songs. And our percussionists and organ player fall into place pretty well at this point. Last week, we were selling Budos Band panties and some lady showed up not wearing any, bought a pair, put them on right then and there and modeled the backside for all to see.
The tracking itself only took 3 nights. The amount of time definitely led to stronger songs, though. How hard is touring with such a large band? Rolling with 10 guys definitely presents its challenges. It takes twice as long to get somewhere as it should. Do you guys ever play covers? Staten Island means rugged and raw. We practice in an old burnt out Evangelical church on a dead end street near the train tracks.
We started getting a lot of questions about whether we were Communists; what our politics were, etc… And to tell you the truth, we just wanted to focus on playing music.
So we let the music speak for us and leave it at that. Some of your songs have a very dark and scary feeling to them; do you ever listen to Doom Metal? Our drummer Brian loves it and there are quite a few other metal heads in the group as well. Whose mom cooks the best food in the band? Fela Kuti: Africaman Original. A leaden cloud crept over Africa on August 2nd, Tears flowed from eyes in Nigeria, in Africa, and all over the world.
Hearts became heavier. Many wished it hadn't happened. Some accepted it as part of a divine order. Anyone who was conscious of it at all recognized it as the end of an era. To the Pan-African world, Fela was a towering figure who arguably combined elements of pure artistry, political perseverance, and a mystic, spiritual consciousness in a way that no other individual ever has. At times, he was a Peter Tosh or a Sun Ra, yet more. Spiritually, less is known about Fela, except that his spiritual vision grew from the African tradition and his belief in the sublime power of musicians.
I hope another one comes along straight-away to fill the gap. Otherwise everything's going to be hush-hush and swept under the carpet, and a lotta injustice is gonna occur. We [musicians] studied him seriously. He's been a very strong force to reckon with, and he will continue to be a strong force to reckon with. He will be remembered. We hope that he will rise again. He kicked my ass so many times. It was tough in school under our father. That's how he understood life should be, cause he read the Bible: 'Spare the Hold On Tight (Reeloop) - Various - Trance - The Ultimate Collection Vol.
2 2003 (CD) and spoil the child. She kicked my ass so much man -- systematic ass Hold On Tight (Reeloop) - Various - Trance - The Ultimate Collection Vol.
2 2003 (CD). They made me see life in perspective. I think if they had not brought me up with these experiences, I do not think I would have been what I am today. So the upbringing was not negative. InNigeria gained its independence from England in no small part due to the activism of people like his mother, Funmilayo -- a central figure in his Fela's life.
Fela married his first wife, Remi, in London in While Fela studied classical music at Trinity, outside school he studied and played jazz. The first recordings of his band Koola Lobitos are rumored to date from this period. Fela's journey to Los Angeles in was the most formative experience of his life.
For the first time, I saw the essence of blackism. It's crazy; in the States people think the black power movement drew inspiration from Africa. All these Americans come over here looking for awareness, they don't realize they're the ones who've got it over there. We were even ashamed to go around in national dress until we saw pictures of blacks wearing dashikis on th street.
I was trying to get to my roots in In my own mind, they Africans didn't have a struggle. It came to me as a surprise when I was in Nigeria [in 76] and Fela gave me this credit, cause I had not given the credit to myself. Barnham recorded the high-life jazz sound of Fela Ransome Kuti and the newly renamed 'Nigeria In London, Fela was befriended by percussionist Ginger Baker. Fela appeared on Baker's Stratavarious album and played live shows with the former Cream drummer, one of which was released as Live With Ginger Baker.
ByFela's musical career was focused and directed, and it exploded in terms of quantity and quality of output. It was the beginning of his own style of music -- Afrobeat. Over the next six years, Fela Ransome Kuti and the Africa 70 would record some twenty albums that are the bedrock of his musical legacy. While Fela himself was not a sensational horn or keyboard player, his compositional skill and ability to assemble and direct crack musicians was the essence of his art.
While the whole of the Africa 70 band exuded talent, the trumpet playing of Tunde Williams and the drumming of Tony Allen in particular exemplified the best musicianship in Africa. Dennis Bovell echoes the thought.
He was a great composer, and that's more than a musician. The composers compose shit and any musician can play it. I think he was a great composer, full stop. If somebody wants to do harm for you, it's better for you not to know. So I don't think about it. I can say I don't care. I'm ready for anything. Several significant events led to the fateful day.
In addition to the increasingly anti-authoritarian tone of his music, Fela purchased a printing press and was distributing an anti-government newsletter in late On February 18th,the Nigerian government tried to break Fela for good. His followers were brutalized and raped. His mother was thrown from a second story balcony, hastening her death. For Fela, it was truly time for musical war.
Fela would mark the anniversiary of the attack in with a traditional marriage to 27 of his female followers. Fela's recording career changed with his spiritual outlook inwhen he had a vision in a trance.
It was like a film. I saw this whole [world] was going to change into what people call the Age of Aquarius. The age of goodness where music was going to be the final expression of the human race and musicians were going to be very important in the development of the human society and that musicians would be presidents of different countries and artists would be dictators of society. The mind would be freer, less complicated institutions, less complicated technologies.
It was in that trance that I saw the aspect of the Egyptian civilization. The whole human race were in Egypt under the spiritual guidance of the Gods. The spiritual revelation precipitated the name change of his group form Africa 70 to Egypt 80, and he slowed the Afrobeat groove to a more meditative pace and mellower mood and generally referred to it as 'African music' thereafter. While his musical output in the early 80s was also slowed and his skepticism of record companies grew, he struck up a trusted relationship with Linton Kwesi Johnson's musical partner, Dennis Bovell, who recorded Fela Live In Amsterdam for release on EMI in Bovell also recorded the original tracks for Fela's ill-fated Army Arrangement, which was completed by Bill Laswell at the urging of Fela's manager Pascal Imbert, while Fela was detained in Ikoyi and later Kiri-Kiri prison on a trumped up currency smuggling charge.
Since Fela had received so much recognition as a result of his imprisonment, the album was widely exposed, but without Fela's consent. Those guys, they didn't understand. They were like 'we gotta go now, man. The iron's hot, we gotta strike. They changed the whole shit to what they thought was new. And they fucked it up. Who's that!? Take that off! I don't want to hear it! He toured the US several times, slowly fell out of circulation and withdrew to himself and his communal circle at the Ikeja Street residence in Lagos.
Fela would only release half a dozen more albums half of what he recorded with Bovell remains in the can. In his final years, Fela continued to play at The [new] Shrine, but the recordings tapered off. Maybe that music was not for the world to hear. Only for a few. He just felt like he didn't need anyone to exploit his music, so he refused to record. Fela even told me in'why even bother? It's all been said. It's all been done. Randall Grass of Shanachie Entertainment says that many offers were made on Fela's back catalog while he was alive, but nothing came of it.
As Dennis Bovell explains, "Motown came to see him, and he refused. They only offered him a million dollars [for his catalog], and he thought 'hey, shit, no. I wipe my ass with a million dollars. That's my toilet paper bill! He was arrested, charged with murder, but eventually released. It would blur into the latter part of the list of an alleged trips to court in 25 years. This past April, Fela made news with yet another 'Indian hemp' bust, but as he did so many times in the past, he escaped conviction.
The charges were dropped in early July, a mere month before his passing. When the government hung the eloquent writer and outspoken environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and imprisoned Fela's brother Beko Ransome Kuti in recent years, it was perhaps a chilling sign of the end for Fela. He did not respond in either case. Some argue that Fela was too ill to fight, yet he clearly was able to muster the energy to elude conviction on the hemp charges. These questions remain unanswered.
Fela was a very complex man. He was a visionary. He really believed in his cause. He never gave up. If all we Nigerians can learn something from him, [it's] for us to be able to speak to our beliefs and live our beliefs. He taught us that we have to speak up. His message was very strong within the music. If he wasn't important, they wouldn't try to break him down.
When you try to do the right thing you will get a big fight. If you let the wrong things interfere, you going down. And he'd taken what James was doing, but really extrapolated it in a big way. The early 70s recordings were the best I think.
Hold On Tight (Reeloop) - Various - Trance - The Ultimate Collection Vol. 2 2003 (CD) have more albums by him than by any other single artist. I listen particularly to the way the bass is used; that's what really interests me about these records. The use of the bass as an instrument that is both percussive and melodic at the same time. You can search and run the lists of comparisons to try to find another story like his, but then how many communes have there been on the face of the Earth, within the iron clasp of a military dictatorship?
How could an island of egalitarianism under its own rule of law possibly exist in a state that has its way with any of its other subjects? How could it flourish for so long and be led by a musician, whose cultural, political and spiritual magnetism drew together the resources to make it possible? How could it be revived after brutal attempts to destroy it?
If it was a unique circumstance, then it was a unique individual who made it possible. He was really a Pan-Africanist. Nigeria was his particular platform, [but] all the questions he raised in Nigeria, he felt these were issues that had to be faced in Africa and throughout the Black world Hold On Tight (Reeloop) - Various - Trance - The Ultimate Collection Vol.
2 2003 (CD) well as the Diaspora. He reflected what everybody felt and everybody thought. This is why we see the unified Africa as the ultimate. Because Africa is not unified, that is why South Africa can operate [in apartheid].
The marriage institution for the progress of the mind is evil. I learned that from prison. Why do people marry? Is it to be together? Is it to have children? People marry because they are jealous. People marry because they are possessive.
People marry because they are selfish. All this comes to the very ugly fact that people want to own and control other people's bodies. I think the mind of human beings should develop to the point where that jealous feelings should be completely eradicated.
Agadou - Saragossa Band - Saragossa Band (CD), Pictures Of The Past - Merrell Fankhauser - Return To Mu (CD, Album), Too Many Women - Bernard Allison - Funkifino (CD, Album), Jacobs Ladder, Fantasy - Neil Norman, Bobby Sexton - Facing Destiny (Vinyl, LP), Shout (Sapphire & Steel Mix Club) - Red Rhythm - Shout (Vinyl), Various - Narcotic Goa Trance (CD), Ein Stück Holz - ELF (4) - German Angst (CD, Album), 洪水 - ばちかぶり* - 85 Live (CD, Album), Mole Hill Rockers (FE Wolters Rocksteady Dub) - Various - Reggae Germany Downtown (King Size D..) (C, SSC/Stand Or Fall - Anthrax - Spreading The Disease (Vinyl, LP, Album), If I Were A Bell - Night And Day (4) - Plays Them All (CDr, Album), wun for the trees - Oatmello - Memory (Cassette, Album), The Battle (Part 2) - John Williams (4) • London Symphony Orchestra*, National Philharmonic Orchestr