Donnerstag, 29. September 2011

Fela Kuti - Black President (1981)

It was during the early '80s that Fela Anikulapo Kuti's profile was high enough to warrant releasing his records in the U.S.

So for the first time, one did not have to scour the import bins or pay import prices to get a dose of Afro-beat. On "Black President", the politics are at the forefront as Fela rails against colonialism and the military government growing rich at the expense of Nigeria's poor.

The grooves are dense and supple and in many ways this is classic Fela, it just doesn't kick quite as hard as "Expensive Shit" or "He Miss Road".

Fela Kuti - Black President (1981)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 28. September 2011

Fela Kuti - I Go Shout Plenty (1977)

A press release from the United Democratic Front of Nigeria on the occasion of Fela's death noted: "Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic, socialist Africa."

The album "I Go Shout Plenty" on the Afrodisia label was released in 1986 but apparently recorded earlier.


Tracks:

1. I Go Shout Plenty
2. Why Black Man Dey Suffer


Fela Kuti - I Go Shout Plenty (1977)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 26. September 2011

VA - Calypso Calaloo, Early Carnival Music In Trinidad (Rounder)


Rounder Records deserves much praise for brightening up the often dull and familiar American pop musicscape with a flurry of releases that challenge our stereotypical view of "island music." This is particularly true of the music of Trinidad and Tobago, identified in the American popular mind with the synthetic Calypso-meets-disco sound of soca. While soca is a more complex and worthy genre than some opine, it's associated less with Calypso's social protest and hilariously witty innuendo than with less-graceful expressions like popular soca artist Arrow's sexual request in "Winey Winey" to "winey winey 'pon your pum-pum."

This fascinating CD puts the gleam on the fine old wood of the earliest Calypso songs, featuring wonderfully baroque orchestrations from the finest T&T Calypso orchestras from 1914 to the '50s, with elegant keyboard passages, swooning strings, snaking horns, exotic male choruses with African overtones, and the sublime vocals of seminal Calypsonians such as Lionel Belasco, Roaring Lion, Babb and Williams, Houdini, Lord Executor, and Lord Invader. This collection of treasures from the Smithsonian, other archives, and commercial studios transformed a series of tracks by the set's producers into a heady taste of carnival through the decades.

Calypso Calaloo is actually the aural accompaniment to Donald R. Hill's written volume Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad, a fascinating account of that island's music pioneers, its world-famous annual carnival, and the culture that spawned it.
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VA - Calypso Calaloo - Early Carnival Music In Trinidad
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 19. September 2011

Fela Kuti – Fela’s London Scene (1971)

To understand where Fela’s musical quest began, you have to start with his education at London’s Trinity College School of Music. While his family had sent him to England to study medicine, Fela had more musical aspirations.

After finishing school, Fela returned to Nigeria and with his band Koola Lobitios and his star status began to flourish in his native land, fusing the sounds of Jazz and Funk with the traditional African music he had been raise on. EMI, his label at the time, saw the true power of his musical creation, which he termed “afro-beat”, and brought Fela and his band back to London.

The result was "London Scene", recorded at Abby Road. While recording this album, Fela began his friendship with Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who plays uncredited on the track “Egbe Mio”. "London Scene" is the beginning of what would become Fela’s signature “Afrobeat” style and a great introduction to the man and his music.

Tracklist:
1. J’ehin J’ehin – 7:26
2 Egbe Mi O – 13:13
3. Who’re You – 9:28
4. Buy Africa – 5:49
5. Fight To Finish – 7:26

Fela Kuti - Fela´s London Scene (1971)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 18. September 2011

Fela Kuti - Fela Fela Fela (1969)



It's almost impossible to overstate the impact and importance of Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti (or just Fela as he's more commonly known) to the global musical village: producer, arranger, musician, political radical, outlaw. He was all that, as well as showman par excellence, inventor of Afro-beat, an unredeemable sexist, and a moody megalomaniac.

The album "Fela Fela Fela", a Duke Lumumba recording, is is the original LA Session album released in Nigeria on EMI Nigeria. Lonnie Bolden plays tenor sax, jacket design by Ebele and Chinye.
Tracklist:

1. My Lady Frustration
2. Viva Nigeria
3. Obe
4. Ako
5. Witchcraft
6. Wayo
7. Lover
8. Funky Horn
9. Eko
10. This is Sad

Fela Kuti - Fela Fela Fela (1969, EMI Nigeria)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 14. September 2011

Ras Michael: Dadawah - Peace and Love (1974)


Nyahbingi music in its purest form ist the music played at Rastafarian meetings or "grounations", and is based around a style of relentless drumming and chanting. Sometimes a guitar or horns are used, but no amplification at all is employed.

Though serious musicologists had made occasional field recordings of nyahbingi sessions, the first album to give the music the studio time it deserved, while remaining as true to its original forms are possible, was the triple LP set "Grounation" from Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari. This historic set has never been superseded, but the establishment of Rastafari as the dominant reggae ideology in the mid-1970s, plus the emergence of an audience for reggae albums that were more than collections of hit singles, created a climate in which more sets of nyabingi-based music could be produced.


The most noteworthy of these were by Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus. In 1975, Ras Michael´s group were joined by some of Kingston´s top studio musicians for the retrieving album "Dadawah - Peace & Love". Unique in its synthesis of musical forms and the length of its tracks, it uses traditional Rasta chants as its basic material, but subjects it to elements from the reggae mainstream, US funk and even rock.

"Dadawah" was a revelation, a stunning album that, across a mere four numbers, wove together a grounation feel, thick roots atmospheres, blues, rock, psychedelia, and deep Rastafarian devotion. Brilliantly produced by Lloyd Charmers, who also provided keyboards, with stunning work from guitarist Willie Lindo and the rhythm section of Paul Williams and Lloyd Parks, "Dadawah" remains one of the most exceptional albums of its, or any other, day. It is one of our favourite albums for the more quiet and thoughtful hours of the day:


Tracklist:
1. Run Come Rally
2. Seventy-Two Nations
3. Zion Land
4. Know How You Stand

Ras Michael - Dadawah - Peace And Love (1974)
(200 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 8. September 2011

Tom Ashley & Tex Isley - Play and Sing American Folk Music (Folkways, 1966)

Biography:
"A medicine show performer in the 1910s and 1920s, Clarence (Tom) Ashley influenced the urban folk revival when his early recordings were included on the Folkways album Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952. Although he had retired from the medicine show circuit in 1943, he made a successful comeback in the early '60s when he recorded a pair of albums that introduced influential flatpicking guitarist Arthel "Doc" Watson.

Ashley, who took his last name from the maternal grandfather who raised him, was inspired by the jokes and songs that he heard played by transients who boarded in his family home. His mother's two older sister taught him songs and instructed him on the banjo. Joining his first medicine show in 1913, Ashley traveled by horse and buggy through the southern Appalachian region, playing songs while "the doc" sold his elixirs. In 1914, he married Hettie Osborne and settled in Shouns, TN.

Although he supplemented his income as a musician by farming and working at a sawmill, Ashley continued to perform. By 1927, Ashley was performing with numerous string bands, including the Blue Ridge Entertainers. He recorded as a member of Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots and the Carolina Tar Heels. His solo debut came in 1929 when he recorded "The Cuckoo Bird" and "The House Carpenter" for Columbia. Signed to a solo contract by both Columbia (as Clarence Ashley) and Victor (as Tom Ashley), he recorded for both labels until 1933.

Retiring from the medicine shows in 1943, Ashley bought a truck and, with his son J.D., hauled coal, furniture, and lumber. His performances were limited to working as a comedian with Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Partners and the Stanley Brothers.

While his songs were revived by string band instrumentalists in the 1950s, Ashley disappeared almost completely from the music scene. Attending the Union Grove Old Time Fiddlers Convention in 1960, he met folklorist Ralph Rinzler, who, with folk song collector Eugene Earle, set up a recording session at Ashley's daughter's home in Saltville, VA. Ashley invited Watson to accompany him on guitar. The session marked the acoustic guitar debut for Watson, who had previously played electric guitar in rockabilly and country bands. Beginning in 1961, Ashley and Watson, joined by fiddler Fred Price, performed at northern folk festivals, coffeehouses, and clubs. Their concert at New York'sTown Hall was recorded and released as their second album. Ashley recorded an additional album with fiddler Tex Isley."
-Allmusic.com



Tracklist:

May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonite Mister?
Rude and Rambling Man
Whoa, Mule
Faded Roses
Shout Little Lulu
The House Carpenter
I'm The Man That Rode The Mule Around The World
Wild Bill Jones
The Little Log Cabin in The Lane
Cluck, Old Hen
Frankie Silvers
The Prisoner's Song
Hard Luck Blues
Little Hillside

Tom Ashley & Tex Isley - Play And Sing American Folk Music (1966)
(224 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 6. September 2011

Rex Jim Lawson - The Highlife King In London (vinyl rip, 1970)

Until his untimely death in the 1970s, Erekosima (Rex Jim) Lawson was a standard-bearer of the Nigerian highlife scene whose tunes achieved popularity across Africa. Of mixed Kalabari and Igbo parentage, he was born in the town of New Kalabar in present-day Rivers State, and got his start in Port Harcourt's Starlite Melody Orchestra, led by "Lord" Eddyson.

By 1960 he was leading his own group, the Nigeraphone Studio Orchestra of Onitsha and had played with the "big names" of Nigerian highlife - Bobby Benson, Roy Chicago, Victor Olaiya and others.

With his second group, the Majors Band of Nigeria (variously called the "Mayors Band," and in later years the "Rivers Men"), he scored innumerable hits over the sixties and early seventies, notably "Jolly Papa," "Adure," "Ibi na Bo," and many others. Of these, the biggest was "Sawale," in pidgen English, which has become an African music standard and been remade numerous times by various artists. Lawson's fluency in various languages and dialects has only enhanced his appeal across class and ethnic lines in West Africa.

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 2. September 2011

Super Ensemble Webert Sicot – La Flèche D'or D'Haiti (1967)

Webert Sicot (1930 – February 1985) was an Haïtian sax player, composer and band leader. He is recognized as one of the creators of konpa dirèk, a style of Haïtian dance music born in the 1950s.

Sicot was born in Port-au-Prince, Haití, in 1930. He took his first musical lessons from Augustin Bruno. He made his debut as professional with Claudin Toussaint's Jazz Capois. He also worked with the groups Jazz des Jeunes and the Saieh orchestra, in the second half or the 1950s.

He founded with Nemours Jean-Baptiste the Conjunto Internacional and took part in the Citadelle orchestra and Casino Internacional Band. With Jean Baptiste, he created the konpa dirék, a variation of the Haïtian merengue. In 1961 he commenced a solo career and became one of the pioneers of cadence rampa. He played several instruments as trumpet, bass, piano and drums.

Sicot died in February 1985 and is considered as one of the most influentials band leaders in Haïtian popular music.
 
Super Ensemble Webert Sicot - La Fleche D´Or D´Haiti (1967)
(192 kbps, cover art included)