FELA RANSOME KUTI & AFRICA'70 feat. GINGER BAKER : Live! (1971)
Live! was recorded in 1971 with Fela's group at the time,the Africa 70.Due to its demanding performance schedule,the band is remarkably tight.Interlocking rhythms drive keyboard and guitar vamps,propelling instrumental soloists on trumpet and saxophone.There's a nice jazzy feel here,manifested both in an elastic sense of time and in an ensemble approach to performance.Improvised passages lie interspersed between statements of the theme,with Fela improvising on voice or delivering some rather frank lyrics in English and Yoruba.For example,the message of the opener:Let's get it on! (This piece features Ginger Baker sitting in for Tony Allen on drums,and he does quite well.Baker trades his usual heavy-handed approach for a lighter touch,dancing in and around the beat.)Live! is as tight,funky,and sensual as any record Fela Kuti ever made.Having Ginger Baker in the mix makes it a bit unusual,but this is an excellent recording suitable for Fela initiates and devotees alike.
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