While not a universally praised piece of the Art Blakey discography, The African Beat is quite engaging. Yusef Lateef is the only horn player, featured on oboe, flute, tenor sax, cow horn, and thumb piano with Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass, but trombonist Curtis Fuller is only heard playing tympani – it was that kind of session. The drum ensemble includes Chief Bey, along with five other percussionists on conboro, log, and bata drums with penny whistles, gongs, congas, and African maracas. This is reminiscent of Lateef's more exotic sessions from the same time period, but quite unlike other Blue Note releases from the early '60s.
This disc offers a handful of performances from musical legends Elizabeth Cotton and Jesse Fuller. The disc offers a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. There are neither subtitles nor closed captions on this release. Although there are no supplemental materials of any consequence on this Shanachie title, enthusiasts of the music will surely find it to be a valuable addition to a DVD collection.
Originally released as the Prestige albums San Francisco Bay Blues and Jesse Fuller's Favorites, these 26 sides are fine examples of Fuller's unique one-man band genius……
It’s not quite right to say that the Go-Go’s' 1981 debut, Beauty and the Beat, is where new wave caught hold in the U.S., but it’s not quite wrong, either. Prior to this, there had certainly been new wave hits – Blondie had been reaching the Top Ten for two years running – but the Go-Go’s ushered in the era of big, bright stylish pop, spending six weeks at the top of the U.S. charts and generating two singles that defined the era: the cool groove of “Our Lips Are Sealed” and the exuberant “We Got the Beat.” So big were these two hits that they sometimes suggested that Beauty and the Beat was a hits-and-filler record, an impression escalated by the boost the Go-Go’s received from the just-launched MTV, yet that’s hardly the case. Beauty and the Beat is sharp, clever, and catchy, explicitly drawing from the well of pre-Beatles ‘60s pop – girl group harmonies, to be sure, but surf-rock echoes throughout – but filtering it through the nervy energy of punk.