Articles

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

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Album Review

Derek Bailey & Jamie Muir: Dart Drug

Read "Dart Drug" reviewed by Chris May


For decades as rare as hens's teeth--or should that be larks's tongues in aspic?--Dart Drug was originally released on the Incus label in 1981, and reissued on CD in 1994. In 2018 it has been remastered and rereleased on vinyl by Honest Jons. The bracing yet strangely beautiful album is one of the few recordings made by the percussionist Jamie Muir after he retired from professional music-making in 1973, first to study Buddhism in Scottish and ...

374

Album Review

Gwigwi Mrwebi: Mbaqanga Songs

Read "Mbaqanga Songs" reviewed by Chris May


Recorded in 1967, during the bloody heyday of apartheid South Africa, the joyful, defiant, easy-swinging jazz-jive heard on Mbaqanga Songs was then the recreational soundtrack of the country's black and coloured urban poor. After almost forty years off the shelves--and with impeccable synchronicity--the album was reissued late last month, just days before the death of P.W. Botha, the last hardline racist president of the country.

Made in London by a sextet which included four of the leading South African musicians ...

431

Album Review

Various Artists: London Is The Place For Me 4: African Dreams & The Piccadilly High Life

Read "London Is The Place For Me 4: African Dreams & The Piccadilly High Life" reviewed by Chris May


Honest Jons' exemplary archival collection of London-recorded Caribbean and African music from the '50s and '60s continues with this fourth, irresistible volume. After the third album's single-artist focus on the seminal Nigerian-expat bandleader Ambrose Adekoya Campbell, the series returns, for the moment anyway, to the broader spectrum of the first two volumes--taking in Trinidadian calypso, South African kwela, West African highlife, Latin music and jazz.

London Is The Place For Me chronicles an era when--soul and R&B aside--British black music ...

331

Album Review

Tony Allen: Lagos No Shaking

Read "Lagos No Shaking" reviewed by Chris May


More than any other member of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's early bands, drummer Tony Allen can be said to have co-invented Afrobeat. Kuti provided the funk/jazz/Yoruba folk music themes and arrangements--plus the trademark insurrectionary lyrics and, crucially in the face of vicious and ongoing state attempts to silence the band, the leadership. (The buck sure enough stopped with Kuti, a man of extraordinary integrity and courage.) Allen provided that unique Afrobeat rhythm--a majestic, straight to your feet, loose-limbed but heavy shuffle. ...

236

Album Review

Ambrose Adekoya Campbell: London Is The Place For Me 3

Read "London Is The Place For Me 3" reviewed by Chris May


History, they say, is written by the victors. Without a doubt, it's written by the governing majority, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the near invisibility, until very recently, of black and African people in chronicles of British life and culture.

Honest Jons provides a vibrant antidote to this Eurocentric bias with the London Is The Place For Me compilation series (not to mention, of course, restoring some important early black British music to the racks). ...

584

Album Review

Moondog: The Viking Of Sixth Avenue

Read "The Viking Of Sixth Avenue" reviewed by Chris May


While many modern music fans have heard of Moondog--his counterculture reputation and musical achievements have been celebrated by hipster and conservatoire musicians alike for over fifty years--relatively few have actually heard his music. Acquainted with and endorsed by Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Igor Stravinsky, and Artur Rodzinski in New York in the late '40s and '50s, and by Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass in the '60s and '70s, his most recent high-profile champion has been Elvis ...

430

Album Review

Various Artists: Lagos Chop Up

Read "Lagos Chop Up" reviewed by Chris May


An inspired trawl through the treasure trove that is urban Nigerian social music of the late '60s through mid '80s--a laid-back, all-night, intertribal dance party featuring classic highlife, Afrobeat, juju, and fuji hits of the era in all their four-track, one-take, original glory.

The '70s, give or take, were arguably the Golden Age of indigenous West African dance music: the decade before it forged wholesale fusions with Western pop and became global rather than local in genesis and ...


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