Fela Ransome Kuti And His Africa 70 Fela Fela Fela

MIT Press. Retrieved 10 February Tired of studying European composers, Fela formed his first band, Koola Lobitos, inand quickly became a fixture on the London club scene. 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 band performed a quick recording session Fela Ransome Kuti And His Africa 70 Fela Fela Fela Los Angeles that would later be released as The '69 Los Angeles Sessions. AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript.

Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Zen Archer September 4, at PM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. International Thief-Thief ". In , Muhammadu Buhari 's government, of which Kuti was a vocal opponent, jailed him on a charge of currency smuggling which Amnesty International and others denounced as politically motivated.

After 20 months, he was released from prison by General Ibrahim Babangida. On his release he divorced his 12 remaining wives, saying that "marriage brings jealousy and selfishness". Once again, Fela continued to release albums with Egypt '80, made a number of successful tours of the United States and Europe and also continued to be politically active.

Fela's album output slowed in the s, and eventually he stopped releasing albums altogether. In , he and four members of the Afrika '70 organization were arrested for murder. The battle against military corruption in Nigeria was taking its toll, especially during the rise of Sani Abacha.

Rumours were also spreading that he was suffering from an illness for which he was refusing treatment. The New Afrika Shrine has opened since Fela's death in a different section of Lagos under the supervision of his son Femi. The musical style of Fela is called Afrobeat , a style he largely created, which is a complex fusion of jazz , funk , Ghanaian highlife , psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native "tinker pan".

Fela once stated that "there would be no Afrobeat, without Tony Allen". Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based "endless groove" is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere , muted West African-style guitar and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song.

Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.

Fela's band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones , whereas most groups were using only one of this instrument. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles and can be seen in funk and hip hop. His bands at times even performed with two bassists at the same time both playing interlocking melodies and rhythms. There were always two or more guitarists. Some elements often present in Fela's music are the call-and-response within the chorus and figurative but simple lyrics.

His songs were also very long, at least 10—15 minutes in length, and many reached 20 or even 30 minutes, while some unreleased tracks would last up to 45 minutes when performed live. This was one of many reasons that his music never reached a substantial degree of popularity outside Africa. His LP records frequently had one minute track per side.

Typically there is an " Instrumental Introduction " jam part of the song, perhaps 10—15 minutes long, before Fela starts singing the "main" part of the song, featuring his lyrics and singing, in which the song continues for another 10—15 minutes. Therefore, on some recordings, one may see his songs divided into two parts, Part 1 being instrumental and Part 2 involving both music and singing.

Fela's songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language. His main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards , but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo.

Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa. Fela was known for his showmanship, and his concerts were often quite outlandish and wild. He referred to his stage act as the "Underground" Spiritual Game. Many expected him to perform like those in Western world. His European performance was a representation of what was relevant at the time and his other inspirations. He thought that art, and thus his own music, should have political meaning.

As Fela's musical career developed, so too did his political influence throughout the world. In turn, the religious aspect of his musical approach grew. Gentleman was originally released in by EMI.

In , Gentleman was bundled again with Confusion by Knitting Factory Records as a part their extensive reissue of Kuti's album discography. Paste magazine's Michaelangelo Matos gave it a score of "9. Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Africa Archived from the original on 12 August Realizing that time was short before they were sent back to Nigeria, they were able to scrape together some money to record some new songs in L.

What came to be known as the '69 Los Angeles Sessions were remarkable, an indication of a maturing sound and of the raucous, propulsive music that was to mark Fela's career.

Afrobeat's combination of blaring horn sections, antiphonal vocals, Fela's quasi-rapping pidgin English, and percolating guitars, all wrapped up in a smoldering groove in the early days driven by the band's brilliant drummer Tony Allen that could last nearly an hour, was an intoxicating sound. Once hooked, it was impossible to get enough. Upon returning to Nigeria, Fela founded a communal compound-cum-recording studio and rehearsal space he called the Kalakuta Republic, and a nightclub, the Shrine.

It was during this time that he dropped his given middle name of "Ransome" which he said was a slave name, and took the name "Anikulapo" meaning "he who carries death in his pouch". Playing constantly and recording at a ferocious pace, Fela and band who were now called Africa 70 became huge stars in West Africa. His biggest fan base, however, was Nigeria's poor. Because his music addressed issues important to the Nigerian underclass specifically a military government that profited from political exploitation and disenfranchisement , Fela was more than a simply a pop star; like Bob Marley in Jamaica, he was the voice of Nigeria's have-nots, a cultural rebel.

This was something Nigeria's military junta tried to nip in the bud, and from almost the moment he came back to Nigeria up until his death, Fela was hounded, jailed, harassed, and nearly killed by a government determined to silence him.

Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. For the most part he's swung totally from his highlife roots into full-on funk, but Afrobeat is finally starting to rear its head here. The most glaring sign of things to come is on "Egbe mi o" featuring Ginger Baker! Now huge stars in Nigeria, this trip was, in a way, a triumphant return to the country that had provided Fela with a musical education and the club scene where he cut his proverbial bandleader's teeth.

What is important to note is that he had become good friends with former Cream and at the time of this recording current Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker, who had traveled to Lagos a year earlier to meet, hang out, and play with Fela. The second was at the Berlin Jazz Festival after which most of Fela's musicians deserted him, due to rumours that Fela was planning to use the entire proceeds to fund his presidential campaign.

Despite the massive setbacks, Fela was determined to come back. He formed his own political party, which he called Movement of the People MOP , in order to "clean up society like a mop". At this time, Fela created a new band called Egypt '80 reflecting the idea that Egyptian civilization, knowledge, philosophy, mathematics, and religious systems are African and must be claimed as such.

As Fela stated in an interview, "Stressing the point that I have to make Africans aware of the fact that Egyptian civilization belongs to the African. So that was the reason why I changed the name of my band to Egypt He further infuriated the political establishment by dropping the names of ITT Corporation vice-president Moshood Abiola and then General Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of a hot-selling minute political screed entitled "I. International Thief-Thief ". In , Muhammadu Buhari 's government, of which Kuti was a vocal opponent, jailed him on a charge of currency smuggling which Amnesty International and others denounced as politically motivated.

After 20 months, he was released from prison by General Ibrahim Babangida. On his release he divorced his 12 remaining wives, saying that "marriage brings jealousy and selfishness". Once again, Fela continued to release albums with Egypt '80, made a number of successful tours of the United States and Europe and also continued to be politically active. Fela's album output slowed in the s, and eventually he stopped releasing albums altogether.

In , he and four members of the Afrika '70 organization were arrested for murder. The battle against military corruption in Nigeria was taking its toll, especially during the rise of Sani Abacha. Rumours were also spreading that he was suffering from an illness for which he was refusing treatment. The New Afrika Shrine has opened since Fela's death in a different section of Lagos under the supervision of his son Femi. The musical style of Fela is called Afrobeat , a style he largely created, which is a complex fusion of jazz , funk , Ghanaian highlife , psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms.

Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native "tinker pan". Fela once stated that "there would be no Afrobeat, without Tony Allen". Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based "endless groove" is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere , muted West African-style guitar and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song.

Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.

Fela's band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones , whereas most groups were using only one of this instrument. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles and can be seen in funk and hip hop. His bands at times even performed with two bassists at the same time both playing interlocking melodies and rhythms. There were always two or more guitarists. Some elements often present in Fela's music are the call-and-response within the chorus and figurative but simple lyrics.

His songs were also very long, at least 10—15 minutes in length, and many reached 20 or even 30 minutes, while some unreleased tracks would last up to 45 minutes when performed live. This was one of many reasons that his music never reached a substantial degree of popularity outside Africa. His LP records frequently had one minute track per side. Typically there is an " Instrumental Introduction " jam part of the song, perhaps 10—15 minutes long, before Fela starts singing the "main" part of the song, featuring his lyrics and singing, in which the song continues for another 10—15 minutes.

Therefore, on some recordings, one may see his songs divided into two parts, Part 1 being instrumental and Part 2 involving both music and singing. Fela's songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language. His main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards , but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo.

Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa. Fela was known for his showmanship, and his concerts were often quite outlandish and wild. He referred to his stage act as the "Underground" Spiritual Game. Many expected him to perform like those in Western world. His European performance was a representation of what was relevant at the time and his other inspirations.

He thought that art, and thus his own music, should have political meaning. As Fela's musical career developed, so too did his political influence throughout the world. In turn, the religious aspect of his musical approach grew. Fela was a part of an Afro-Centric consciousness movement that was founded on and delivered through his music.

In an interview found in the Hank Bordowitz analysis Noise of the World , Fela stated: "Music is supposed to have an effect. He never broke big in the U. Around the turn of the millennium, Universal began remastering and reissuing a goodly portion of Fela's many recordings, finally making some of his most important work widely available to American and European listeners.

With Fela Fela Fel we're finally at Afrobeat. Well, nearly anyway. The tracks are still short! So no 15 minute jams, and Fela is still going about vocal performances in a very James Brown way. Don't get me wrong, he's quite good at it, and all these songs are great fun. They're just a bit toned down and simplistic compared to the masterpieces that are coming just down the road in the next couple years. It's easy to skip over these early releases and jump straight to better known names, but if you're a fan of Fela's London Scene you should make a point of getting back here and checking these out.

Labels: Fela Kuti , Nigeria. Zen Archer September 3, at AM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.