Afro Beat

February 19, 2010

Afrobeat originated in Nigeria in the 1960s with Fela Kuti, where he experimented with many different forms of contemporary music of the time, mainly jazz and funk. Prevalent in the form are African harmonies and rhythms, taking different elements and combining, modernizing and improvising upon them and incorporating hot political topics.

With the popularity of the Fela! Kuti docu-play now on Broadway there’s a been a bit more interest in the genre, but not as much as I expected.

Here’s a small taste of the many forms afrobeat heard today. Enjoy.

MP3: Fela Kuti & The Africa 70 – Jeun Ko Ku

MP3: Fela Kuti- No Agreement

MP3: Fela Kuti- Water No Get Enemy

MP3: Fela Kuti- Zombie

MP3: The Budos Band – T.I.B.W.F.

MP3: Budos Band- His Girl

MP3: Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra- Filibuster XXX

Fela’s son:

MP3: Femi Kuti- Black Man Know Yourself

MP3: Femi Kuti- Sorry Sorry

One of my faves from Ottowa, with a brand new LP Rising Sun. (I’m still waiting for them to play Philly!)

MP3: The Souljazz Orchestra- Parasite (from their previous LP)

From Ann Arbor:

MP3: Nomo- Brainwave

I also recommend the compilation Black Man’s Cry- The Inspiration of Feli Kuti, released last fall on favorite label Stones Throw.

PRI’s The World story on the Broadway hit Fela here.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, October 1938– August 1997.


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