Tony Oladipo Allen was born July 20, 1940 in Lagos, and over the next 79 years he would change the sound of drumming forever. While primarily known for the 15 years he spent as drummer and band leader with Fela Kuti, Tony Allen had a whole second career post-Fela. He not only released his own albums encompassing jazz, afrobeat, and electronica — he also collaborated with musicians ranging from Brazil’s Meta Meta to Jamaica’s Ernest Ranglin to American Jeff Mills to South Africa’s Hugh Masekela… and many more.
Fela Kuti (born Oct. 15, 1938) planted the root of what became Afrobeat music. Today, many are carrying on his work including his sons Femi and Seun, former bandmates including Tony Allen, and countless worldwide afrobeat bands from the Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra to Brazil’s Bixiga 70. We go from the roots to the branches on this week’s show.
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This week’s show starts with a celebration of the lives and music of Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti and Qawwali king Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whose birthdays are this week. Without them, the face of “world music” would be far different. Though one is known for his vocal prowess in singing devotional Sufi music and the other for feisty anti-establishment poly-rhythmic funk-jazz, both are huge figures. Listen in to see how they sound side by side. Plus new releases from other parts of the planet in the second hour of the show.
The touring Broadway show Fela! about the Nigerian originator of Afrobeat hits Seattle next week. We celebrate with songs from the many Afrobeat bands that have since emerged worldwide, from NYC’s Antibalas to Portugal’s Cacique’97 to Fela’s own offspring who are keeping the form vibrant. Plus an interview with Jordan McLean, one of the musical directors of FELA! and a founding member of Antibalas. (Congrats to the STG listeners who won tickets to opening night during this show!)
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In honor of the upcoming birthday of Fela Kuti, the father of Afrobeat, we heard Afrobeat bands from around the globe this week, from Japan to the Netherlands to the UK to the USA. Just a small taste of the widespread appeal of the sound and attitude of Afrobeat music. In hour 2, new releases and other good stuff, including a couple fun cuts from Ozomatli’s new kids’ album.
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This week’s show includes great music, but first — if you’re interested in democratic, accessible media, and you love global music and independent ideas, take a moment to support the station that brings you Spin The Globe. KAOS-fm is a noncommercial community radio station that depends on the support of individual listeners and small businesses for much of its budget. Please take a moment to call 360-867-5267 or pledge your support online at www.KAOSradio.org and help us continue to occupy the airwaves!
Now… this week’s show fell right between the birthdays of two global music giants, so we ping-ponged with their music in the first hour, then added in some other great artists in the second hour of the show. Qawwlafrobeat, anyone?
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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt (Lost in his Work) – Mustt Mustt
Fela Kuti – Mr Follow Follow – The Underground Spiritual Game
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook – Crest – Night Song
Fela Anikulapo Kuti & The Afrika 70 – No Agreement (excerpt) – Shuffering and Shmiling / No Agreement
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Sultan Khan – Main to Piya Se Naina Lagaa Aayi Re – Pukaar
Fela & the Africa 70 – Buy Africa – Shakara
Gaudi + Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Dil Da Rog Muka Ja Mahi (Pinch Remix – Dub Qawwali Remixes
Fela Kuti – Shakara – The Best of the Black President
Lo’Jo – Debosz – Ce Soir La
MarchFourth Marching Band – Sin Camiseta – Magnificent Beast
Kal – Duj Duj – Kal
Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars – Midnight Banda Judia – Carnival Conspiracy
Quetzal – Para Sanar – Die Cowboy Die
DeLeon – Yoi M’enamori – Casata
Te Vaka – Vevela – Havili
Debashish Bhattacharya & Bob Brozman – Jibaner Gan – Mahima
Afrobeat has been one of the most contagious musics produced by Africa, and it has found root in nations as far-flung as Germany, Colombia, England, and here in the USA. This week we celebrated the Oct. 15 birthday of Afrobeat creator Fela Kuti with the sounds of his rhythms gone globally viral. Plus some music from the founder of Afrobeat himself, and some new releases.
Schael Sick Brass Band – Colonial Mentality – Majnoun
Shareholder Tom – Stopover Abeokuta – advance single
Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble – Pelotera – Introducing the Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble
The Haggis Horns – The Traveller Part One – Hot Damn!
Cacique ’97 – Eu Quero Tudo – Cacique ’97
Hard Proof Afrobeat – Buffalo – Hard Proof Afrobeat
Superkali – Daktari Walk – Superkali
Cafe-Creme et les Frères Smith – La Marche des Smith – We Love Afrobeat
London Afrobeat Collective – Lagos Junction – L.A.C.
Afrodizz – Propaganda – Kif Kif
Palanca – Cumbia Reggae Funky – Para Cambiar El Rumbo
Belgian Afrobeat Association – Femme Fatale – Belgian Afrobeat Association
Fela Kuti – Swegbe and Pako – The Underground Spiritual Game
Toubab Krewe – Beacon – TK2
Alpha Yaya Diallo – M’ma Love – Imme
Picoso – Descarga – Mas Picao
Shukar Collective – Oh, Girl… – Rromatek
Ebo Taylor – Kwame – Love and Death
Nana Vasconcelos – Nizinga – Brazilian Rhythms
Abazar Hamid – Salam Darfur – Listen to the Banned