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Babatunde Olatunji

Babatunde Olatunji - African Drums (1927-2003) Before there was world beat music, before there was Afropop or any of the other genres of African music marketed to Western audiences, there was Babatunde Olatunji. Olatunji's 1959 “Drums of Passion” album may have been the first African music release recorded in a modern U.S. studio. That album and its successor “Zungo!” proved extremely influential in the world of progressive 1960s jazz, helping to introduce saxophonist John Coltrane and other jazz players to African music. Olatunji himself made the United States his home and became a durable and enthusiastic ambassador of West African culture A member of the Yoruba ethnic group, Olatunji was born in 1927 in the Nigerian village of Ajido, about forty miles from the capital of Lagos

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Bray Jazz Festival 2017

Read "Bray Jazz Festival 2017" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Bray Jazz Festival Various venues Bray, Ireland May 28-30, 2017 There are just so many cultural events going on in Ireland over the May Bank Holiday weekend that it can be a bit of a head-spin deciding what to opt for. Roots music gatherings, literature festivals, classical recitals, a chamber ...

ARTICLE: HI-RES JAZZ

John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light

Read "John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light" reviewed by Mark Werlin

Visual art is a play of shadow and light, and contrast makes the forms visible. In the best jazz music, there is a kind of inner light that emanates from the musicians, the light of creative impulse, the light of spontaneous artistic expression. Some jazz musicians--too many--cast their own shadows of addiction and self-destructiveness. But often--too ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Santana Lands February 21 in a Captivating Set of Greatest Hits!

Santana Lands February 21 in a Captivating Set of Greatest Hits!

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Santana Live At Montreux 2011 on a 2DVD set & Blu-ray in a exhilarating set of jazz, Latin, funk, soul and rock 'n' roll. The 23-song show weighs heavily on the side of the songs that fans of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist (inducted in 1998) have loved ...

NEWS: BOOK / MAGAZINE

Creative Music Studio Book Reissue to Coincide with CMS Day at Columbia

Creative Music Studio Book Reissue to Coincide with CMS Day at Columbia The book that tells the story of the legendary Creative Music Studio—Music Universe, Music Mind: Revisiting the Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, New York (Ann Arbor: Arborville Publishing, ISBN 0-9650438-4-3)—is being reissued. The reissue coincides with events in 2011 designed to help cement the legacy ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Aimua Eghobamien

Read "Take Five With Aimua Eghobamien" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Aimua Eghobamien: With a dad who listened to a world of music from British pop to Highlife and Calypso; a mum who sang him a do lullabies; and siblings who were interested in all things American--Motown, soul, US pop and R&B charts--his musical tastes developed without limitations. Living at various points on three continents, he ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Diaz y Son de la Calle: Merengue Jazz King: Dedicated to Mario Rivera

Read "Merengue Jazz King: Dedicated to Mario Rivera" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Conguero Alex Diaz marries the heady rhythms of meringue to the harmony and sway of jazz as he pays tribute to Mario Rivera, the “King of Merengue Jazz." Rivera was an exceptional musician who played 24 instruments. Born in the Dominican Republic, he moved to the United States, and soon began playing with Tito Puente, Dizzy ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2009: Day 2

Read "Vision Festival 2009: Day 2" reviewed by John Sharpe

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 All-Star Collective / Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble / Sun Ra Arkestra14th Annual Vision Festival Abrons Arts Center New York, New York June 10, 2009 Chapter Index All-Star Collective Bill ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

J.D. Allen Trio: Shine

Read "Shine" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

The unfettered joy of listening to J.D. Allen's Shine comes from being reunited with the blues and spiritualism of modern Afro-American saxophone music. This kind of feeling and emotion all but died with John Coltrane. Arguably only a handful of players such as Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and, perhaps, Dewey Redman kept those flames alive. And ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Babatunde Olatunji: Circle of Drums

Read "Circle of Drums" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Percussionist Babatunde Olatunji was born in a Yoruba-speaking fishing village in Nigeria in 1927 and succumbed to diabetes in Salinas, California in 2003. Why might Circle of Drums, a previously-unreleased 1993 recording, be of interest? In part because, if the prize for First World Music Record can be definitively awarded (and it probably cannot) a serious ...


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