Dádìsì Speaks

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Remembering Fela Anikulapo Ransome-Kuti. R.I.P. Son of Africa

In Music, the World, Thinking Africa on 02/08/2012 at 11:38

Its been been 15 years since you started your peaceful journey Black President, Omo Iya Aje, Stubborn boy, Oko gbogbo Omoge, Roforofo fight – Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Anikulapo-Kuti 15 October 1938 — 2 August 1997 son of the soil gone but never ever forgotten…..E’erbody say yeah yeaahhh! RIP.” – Tunde Jinadu

This man of men must continue to be remembered for all that he offered both the world and African people.  Fela’s music lives on in multiple genres of today’s music, on Broadway and in our hearts.  Many Americans called him the James Brown of Africa.  I call him a kindred spirit to the Godfather of Soul.  Because he too was an African man and it showed whenever James Brown sang and was on stage.  Kindred spirits is what they were and they are both no longer with us.

Music brings the world together. It tells the stories of a people and Fela knew how to tell a story that would sting the faint of heart.  Because he called out the injustices of his home country of Nigeria. he spoke of the corruption, lack of leadership and the negative influences of foreign religious, i.e., Western Christianity and Eastern Islam.

Until this day many sing his songs, dance to them but seemingly still don’t understand what he was really talking about.  15 years ago the ravages of AIDS took him from us.  AIDS a disease that kills millions throughout Africa and certainly if he were alive today he would be speaking out about AIDS as well.  Remembering Fela is bittersweet but also it’s wonderful because his music means so much to so many.

As is said in Yoruba, “E mi omo n’ile” and he was truly a son of his father’s land.  We miss you Fela but know you are with the ancestors and therefore continues to be with us.

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In Honour of Babatunde Olatunji, Morehouse Man, Citizen of the World

In Culture, History, Music, the World, Thinking Africa on 23/07/2012 at 09:36

Morehouse college alumnus Babatunde Olatunji (April 7, 1927–April 6, 2003) was a Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording artist.

Olatunji was born in the village of Ajido, a small town near Badagry, Lagos State, in southwestern Nigeria. A member of the Yoruba people, Olatunji was introduced to traditional African music at an early age.
In 1950, after reading about the Rotary International Foundation’s scholarship program in the Reader’s Digest magazine he applied for it, recived the scholorship and got a place at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia,

Olatunji won a following among jazz musicians, notably creating a strong relationship with John Coltrane and Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond who signed him to the Columbia label in 1957. With Coltrane’s help, he founded the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem. This was the site of Coltrane’s final performance. In 1959 Olatunji released his first of six records on the Columbia label, called Drums of Passion.

In 1969, Carlos Santana had a major hit with his cover version of this first album’s “Jin-go-lo-ba”, which Santana recorded on his debut album, Santana, as “Jingo.” Olatunji favoured a big percussion sound, and his records typically featured more than 20 players, unusual for a percussion based ensemble. Drums of Passion became a major hit and remains in print; it introduced many Americans to world music. Drums of Passion also served as the band’s name. Notable band members included; Clark Terry, Bill Lee, Horace Silver, Yusef Lateef, Sikiru Adepoju and Charles Lloyd, among others.

 

Olatunji’s subsequent recordings include Drums of Passion: The Invocation (1988), Drums of Passion: The Beat (1989) (which included Airto Moreira and Carlos Santana), Love Drum Talk (1997), Circle of Drums (2005) (originally titled Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations, with Muruga Booker and Sikiru Adepoju), and Olatunji Live at Starwood (2003 – recorded at the 1997 Starwood Festival [1]) with guest Halim El-Dabh. He also contributed to Peace Is The World Smiling: A Peace Anthology For Families on the Music For Little People label (1993).

Olatunji recorded with many other prominent musicians (often credited as “Michael Olatunji”), including Cannonball Adderley (on his African Waltz (1961) album), Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Pee Wee Ellis, Stevie Wonder, Randy Weston, and with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln on the pivotal Freedom Now Suite aka We Insist, and with Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart on his Grammy winning Planet Drum projects. He is also mentioned in the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Free” as recorded on the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Olatunji composed music for the Broadway theatrical and Hollywood film productions of Raisin in the Sun. He assisted Bill Lee with the music for his son Spike Lee’s hit film She’s Gotta Have It.-  (Source: Wikipedia)

In 1959 See Left Us and is Missed: My Tribute to Lady Day

In Culture, Jazz, Music on 18/07/2012 at 09:47

MUSICAL PSA: On this day in 1959 Eleanora Harris aka Billy Holiday died at the age of 44. She is still missed til this day. R.I.P. to an original diva.

 

Miles Dewey Davis: Still inspires us with his musical talent and vision

In Artistic Expression, Culture, Jazz, Music on 26/05/2012 at 13:42

Today is marks Miles Dewey Davis’ 86th birthday.  There’s so much to say about this man, his life and the mark he left on the music world with his special brand of Jazz and musical composition.

Many have come after him, imitating him but none could ever quite been able to replicate him.  His music was his own.  His vision of Jazz was truly unique and the inspiration he left was phenomenal.

His music and ability to speak sweeping melodies with his trumpet sends chills up ones spine.  His music comprises of what is referred to as the classics or standards.  He is missed but alas we still remain ever inspired.

Here are a few of his best for your enjoyment.  Happy Birthday Brother Miles.

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