Black Man's Cry: The Inspiration Of Fela Kuti
Get them here: 4 x 10" box set with 10p. booklet / CD with 20p. booklet
Covers and music inspired by the Godfather of Afro-Beat. This Fela Estate-approved anthology includes rare and previously unreleased music from Nigeria, Ghana, Colombia, Trinidad and more.
Heâ€™s best known by his first name, Fela. Heâ€™s certainly Nigeriaâ€™s most famous musical export. His name itself conjures images of 70s Lagos: a metropolis awash in the jubilation that swept in after the 1970 armistice in the civil war between the Nigerian Army and Eastern Biafran secessionists, a capital city in the midst of transition. This is the environment in which Fela and his Africa 70 popularized the hybrid of highlife, jazz and James Brown style, big-band funk he invented: Afro-Beat.
In Nigeria, his countrymen knew his music like Americans know Elvis. On foreign shores, a chosen few Westerners could claim to know the extent of Felaâ€™s genius. As a result, while music historians have filled books with references to the influence of Westerners on Felaâ€™s creation, little has been said about Felaâ€™s inspiration on others. Thus, our compilation begins.
Felaâ€™s music, and that of his organization inspired musicians across the global village when Afro-Beat was new and novel. This compilation focuses on the music Fela inspired â€“ whether by fellow Nigerians recording alongside him in the early 70s, neighbors in Ghana, then-modern Colombian cumbia ensembles inspired by the man who injected a new feel into the Yoruban rhythms that formed cumbiaâ€™s base, Trinidadian steel bands or the select few organizations left that have maintained Felaâ€™s fury in the new millennium.
This is but a cursory investigation into those inspired by Fela Kutiâ€™s genius, but it is unique: the first time that many of these tracks are not only offered a second chance for worthy introspection, but, in the case of many, the first time theyâ€™re being issued full stop.
Compiler Egon has written extensive liner notes â€“ and sourced never before seen Fela photos and other ephemera - for this project, included in the hardbound book that contains the CD and in a large-format booklet in the 4 x 10â€ vinyl box set.