Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

PROFILE

Fela Kuti: King Grenade

Read "Fela Kuti: King Grenade" reviewed by Mick Raubenheimer

His Dark Majestic. Fela Kuti was born royalty, despite coming from a middle class family. One of those gifted spirits whose very presence teems with potency, Olufela Olusegun Oludan Ransome-Kuti (Fela to his friends and fans) was majestic, arresting the attention or desire of all who encountered him. He was also a rousing rebel, founding his own state in defiance of the militant Nigerian government. Embodied. Born into a middle class, but auspicious family ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Fela Ransome Kuti & His Highlife Rakers: Fela's First

Read "Fela's First" reviewed by Chris May

Lost recordings released for the first time! First, the back story.... In 1958, aged 19, Fela Kuti left the highlife scene in Lagos, Nigeria, where he was on the first steps of a career as a trumpeter, and travelled to London. His mother hoped he would enrol in medical school, as his late father had wished. But Kuti was set on furthering his music studies. Arriving in London, he applied to Trinity College of Music but failed the ...

BOOK REVIEW

Glastonbury 50

Read "Glastonbury 50" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Glastonbury 50 Michael Eavis & Emily Eavis 304 Pages ISBN: 978-1-4091-8393-8 Trapeze 2019 Published in time for Christmas 2019, Glastonbury 50 was intended as part of the build up to the legendary festival's 50th anniversary in 2020. That was before COVID-19 changed everything. Glastonbury 2020 was cancelled, with the official 50th anniversary celebrations postponed until 2021. For those pining for Glastonbury in this enforced fallow year, this book should provide more than a ...

AFROBEAT DIARIES

Part 24 - Ghariokwu Lemi: Fela Kuti And Me

Read "Part 24 - Ghariokwu Lemi: Fela Kuti And Me" reviewed by Chris May

In an illuminating interview, artist and sleeve designer Ghariokwu Lemi talks to Afrobeat Diaries about his work and friendship with Fela Kuti. The interview attests to the indelible link between Lemi's designs and Kuti's music, and to a working relationship which, Lemi reveals, broke down only once, over 1977's Sorrow Tears And Blood. The interview is a follow-up to an earlier one given by Lemi to Afrobeat Diaries, The Art Of Afrobeat. Starting with 1974's Alagbon Close, ...

AFROBEAT DIARIES

Part 21 - Final Fela Kuti Masterpieces Reissued

Read "Part 21 - Final Fela Kuti Masterpieces Reissued" reviewed by Chris May

Fela Power Show: Batch 4 is the concluding, eight-disc chapter in Knitting Factory Records' 26-disc reissue program of Fela Anikulapo Kuti albums and early singles. It starts on the 1979/80 cusp of the dissolution of Afrika 70 and the formation of Egypt 80, when Kuti made the landmark Vagabonds In Power (1979), Coffin For Head Of State (1980) and Original Sufferhead (1981). It finishes with three late masterpieces--Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense (1986), Beasts Of No Nation (1989) and Underground ...

AFROBEAT DIARIES

Part 20 - ?uestlove Curates Fela Kuti Vinyl Box

Read "Part 20 - ?uestlove Curates Fela Kuti Vinyl Box" reviewed by Freddy Charles

Fela Anikulapo KutiFela Vinyl Box Set 1Knitting Factory Records2011 With the release of the eight-CD and download collection Fela Power Show: Batch 4, two of the strands in Knitting Factory Records' high-end Fela Kuti reissue project have come to a conclusion. All of Kuti's albums are now available on CD and download (and additionally, via Britain's Wrasse Records, collected in one all-encompassing box set, the 27-disc The Complete Works Of Fela ...

AFROBEAT DIARIES

Part 11 - Knitting Factory releases Fela Kuti "Zombie" batch

Read "Part 11 - Knitting Factory releases  Fela Kuti "Zombie" batch" reviewed by Chris May

Knitting Factory Records' meticulous, immaculately packaged and altogether exemplary Fela Kuti reissue program reaches its third, broadly chronological chapter with the six-disc “Zombie" batch, comprising eleven LPs originally released between 1976--1980. The batch chronicles Kuti's music from shortly before the Nigerian army's destruction of his live/work commune, Kalakuta Republic, in 1977, through that outrage's aftermath, and up to the cusp of the dissolution of Afrika 70 and the formation of its successor band, Egypt 80. It was ...


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