Spinning Fela Kuti’s proto-Africa 70 band, Koola Lobitos, for an upcoming program, I was reminded of just how seminal, loose (and great) this period of his career arc can be. And if you only know the more politically charged Fela of the 70s/80s, I highly recommended exploring Kuti’s–vastly different–sixties output. Like any massive bandleader, from Miles [...]
Archive for the 'Fela Kuti' Category
Netflix is currently streaming Ginger Baker In Africa, an incredibly loose documentary surrounding the British percussion wizard’s trip from Algeria to Lagos, Nigeria in November of 1971. And by ‘loose’ I mean 53 minutes of (ostensibly) amateur footage that oscillates between off the cuff jam sessions and animated beat-poetry narration to scattered on-the-road vignettes. If [...]
As part of my ongoing weekly contribution to Rhino’s ‘rhinofy’ project, this week I put together a twenty track Fela playlist. You can hit it up, here. The playlist was (partly) inspired by Kuti’s 1980 collaboration with Roy Ayers – Music of Many Colours.
Reissues are nothing new. But last year, when news of the promise of the reissued Fela Kuti catalog surfaced, there was reason to get excited. The newly resurfaced Knitting Factory Records is responsible for the comprehensive catalog overhaul. Last week we caught up with label manager Brian Long to find out why. Interview after the [...]
If it seems the late Fela Kuti is everywhere these days it’s because he is. He’s on Broadway with the Jay-Z/Will Smith produced musical Fela!, his entire (immense) discography is being reissued in grand fashion, and most recently Now Again Records have released Black Man’s Cry: The Inspiration of Fela Kuti. Available as both a [...]
Hailing from the Niassa province of Mozambique, singer-songwriter Feliciano dos Santos is little-known outside of his native country, despite receiving praise from the likes of the New York Times, PBS, the Guardian and the BBC. His band, Massuko, generally sings in three regional dialects, Yao, Nyanga and Makua, and occasionally in Portuguese, the country’s official [...]
Truth be told, I haven’t been on a real Fela kick for several years now, but I think that is about to change…it is summertime after all. Friday evening a friend, rifling through cds in his car, introduced me to the Koola Lobitos 1969 Los Angeles Sessions which, apparently, were semi-rare; as in out-of-print. Though, [...]