Afro-music continues to inspire a whole host of musicians, producers and DJs but even now the full picture of Afro-music in the 1960s and 70s is still far from being properly represented. Ghana Soundz Volume 2 goes some way to readdressing the balance.
Ghana was one of the centers of the music called highlife, but the Afro-beat and funk that came out of the country in the 1970s, in the wake of Fela Kuti's musical success in Nigeria, has largely gone undocumented – until now. Compiled from obscure 45s and albums, Ghana Soundz is the first of a three-volume series that will most definitely put Ghanaian funk on the map. Some of it is truly fabulous, like tracks by the Sweet Talks, the Ogyatanaa Show Band, and the Apagya Show Band, all of which do funk in the Afro-beat mold of interlocking parts over an infectious rhythm, giving room for improvisation. Others, like Oscar Sulley & the Uhuru Dance Band, take more of a jazz tack.
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.
Chucho Valdes, Cuba's most famous jazz musician, has rebalanced the repertoire of his Afro-Cuban Messengers on Border-Free, mixing its American-jazz agenda (the group's name deliberately references both Valdes' roots and the late Art Blakey's classic soul-bop Jazz Messengers group) with more extended Latin-American input, and some Native American and Andalusian connections, too. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, guesting on three tracks, is warmly romantic on tenor on the loping Tabu, agile and fluent on the Cuban dance-shuffle Bebo, and mercurial on a soprano-sax break full of north African microtonalisms on the hurtling, horn-hooting finale, Abdel.
Two-CD set commemorates both the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records and the 50th anniversary of the recordings. LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Concord Music Group will reissue a remastered and expanded edition of John Coltrane’s Afro Blue Impressions album on August 20, 2013 (international release dates vary). Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, three bonus tracks, and new liner notes, the new reissue celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records, the jazz label founded by Norman Granz in 1973.
An homage to the great jazz organ trios of the 60s and 70s. Part traditional, part jazz, part funk featuring master organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and vocalist Rene' Marie. This album is the best. It forces you to really listen to the music being created by the fantastic musicians playing together. There are songs on here for every mood as well, from the gorgeous and moving "Lullaby for Helene" to the modern sounding take on an old standard "Sort of Softly." Great music to listen to if you want to learn how to really play music from the heart. The album can be described with one word: Phenomenal.
In Joe McCarthy's Afro-Cuban Big Band Play-Along Series, Volume 2, Grammy® Award-winning drummer & educator Joe McCarthy takes you beyond the printed page of his best-selling book of the same name by demonstrating and explaining the artistry of this popular musical genre. His innovative teaching concepts in Volume II target groove development and chart interpretation. Three groundbreaking new tunes from UNA MÁS will be played and analyzed, complete with demonstrations and multiple camera angles allowing you to see his multi-level playing on one screen. A bonus section entitled "Stylistic Coordination" provides you with a series of exercises to develop groove, coordination, consistency, balance, and concentration.