Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 with Ginger Baker – Live! (1971)

Fela Ransome-Kuti And The Africa ’70 With Ginger Baker – Live! (1971)

As the newly-revived “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has made abundantly clear, it is far to late to wish you all a happy new year.  In fact, I managed not to post anything at all in the first month of the new decade.  I had originally hoped to share this landmark Fela / Ginger Baker collaboration in late December, as a throwback to my old tradition of highlighting musicians who had passed on during the calendar year.  But it was not meant to be.  This record was originally issued on the obscure Signpost label in 1971.  Before getting a wider release by Universal in the early 00’s, it had also been reissued in the well-curated catalogues of respectable labels like Knitting Factory and Celluloid. Fela would also participate in Baker’s “Stratavarious” album from 1972, which if I am not mistaken was my own first exposure to the titan of Afrobeat.  But this live recording of a club date from 71 is much more spontaneous and funky (it may or may not have overdubs.. it definitely has horns soaked in plate-reverb).  Whereas Fela & Africa 70’s own records often featured a single track stretching out on each side of the LP, here we are treated to relatively succinct version of staples in his repertoire (ranging from 8 to 13 minutes long).  Rather than seeing these tracks as “abbreviated” versions, I think this is a good thing.  It allows the band to create the same sort of vibe they normally went for but the momentum never lags at all, and we get a wide variety of textures and grooves crammed into the original 45 minute running time.  The additional bonus track is a lengthy drum solo featuring Tony Allen and Ginger Baker having at it on their respective drum kits, recorded years later at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival. I have stated on this blog how I am typically underwhelmed by recorded drum solos, even from great drummers – but this one is pretty cool to have and makes a nice ‘addendum’ to the original release.

Dr.Vibes has had a regular teaching gig for a while now, which has had a considerable impact on the amount of time he can devote to this blog.  But he wishes to thank the handful of loyal Patrons who help keep the lights on here – a teacher’s pay is relatively humble, unless you are a Rock Star Academic, which Dr. Vibes is not.  The Doctor has also made a New Year’s Resolution to talk about himself in the third person more often in 2020.  So that box has been ticked.

 

Label: MCA Universal / Barclay Records ‎– 314 549 382-2
Series: Fela Originals
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
EU Reissue 2001
Genre: Jazz, Funk / Soul, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Afrobeat, Psychedelic

Tracklist
1. Let’s Start (07:48)
2. Black Man’s Cry (11:36)
3. Ye Ye De Smell (13:17)
4. Egbe Mi O (Carry Me, I Want To Die) (12:38)
5. Ginger Baker & Tony Allen Drum Solo (16:22)

Total length: 01:01:41

 

Band – Africa ’70
Baritone Saxophone – Lekan Animashaun
Bass Guitar – Maurice Ekpo
Composed By – Fela Ransome-Kuti
Congas [1st Conga] – Henry Koffi
Congas [2nd Conga] – Friday Jumbo
Congas [3rd Conga] – Akwesi Korranting
Drums – Ginger Baker, Tony Allen
Leader – Fela Kuti
Percussion [Sticks] – Tony Abayomi
Rhythm Guitar – Peter Animashaun
Shekere – Isaac Olaleye
Tenor Saxophone, Soloist – Igo Chiko
Trumpet [1st Trumpet] – Tunde Williams
Trumpet [2nd Trumpet] – Eddie Faychum

Producer – Jeff Jarratt

https://www.discogs.com/Fela-Fela-With-Ginger-Baker-Live/release/1124117


 

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5 Comments

  1. Bought this

  2. Great choice Dr Vibes! Bought this fantastic live record 33 years ago as a fan of Ginger Baker (Cream, Airforce etc), which turned me almost immediately into a huge Fela Kuti and Afrobeat fan forever. Checkout my tribute post to Ginger Baker RIP on my blog:
    subharmonia.blogspot.com/2019/10/ginger-baker-rip.html?m=1

  3. Thanks. This is an upgrade from my old VBR rip. There are so many great records. This is one of them.

  4. Al Ex – nice retrospective tribute to Mr. Baker. Thanks for that as well.

  5. This is also a nice upgrade from lossy for me. Thank you Dr. V!

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