Brian Eno, who curates the new Fela Anikulakpo Kuti box set, says Fela’s music changed his life:
“Before about mid-September 1973 I didn’t have much interest in polyrhythmic music. I didn’t really get it. That all changed one autumn day when I walked into Stern’s Record Shop off Tottenham Court Road. For reasons I’ve long forgotten, I left the store with an album that was to change my life dramatically. It was Afrodisiac by Fela Ransome-Kuti (as he was then known) and his band The Africa 70. I remember the first time I listened and how dazzled I was by the groove and the rhythmic complexity, and by the raw, harsh sounds of the brass, like Mack trucks hurtling across highways with their horns blaring. Everything I thought I knew about music at that point was up in the air again. The sheer force and drive of this wild Nigerian stuff blew my mind. My friend Robert Wyatt called it ‘Jazz from another planet’ – and suddenly I thought I understood the point of jazz, until then an almost alien music to me.”
Fela has been called the “Bob Dylan of Africa.”
Maybe his music will change your life too!
Check out this live version of the late African musical legend’s “Colonial Mentality,” recorded at the New Afrika Shine in Fela’s hometown of Lagos. The track features Femi Kuti on sax.
Below is a player loaded with an interview with Alex Gibney who directed the new film “Finding Fela,” the live recording of “Colonial Mentality,” “Lover,” “Power Show” and “Zombie” from FELA! Original Broadway Cast.
The title track off the Fela album Zombie:
“Mr. Follow Follow” off the Fela album Zombie:
Fela Kuti Live in Berlin – Berliner Jazztage 1978:
Listen to more here.
Info about the film “Finding Fela” here.
[I just published my rock ‘n’ roll novel, True Love Scars.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book in the new issue. Read it here. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]
— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —