Fela Ransome Kuti & Ginger Baker – The Afrika `70 (1971)

frontcover1Live! is an album recorded in 1971 by Fela Kuti’s band Africa 70, with the addition of former Cream drummer Ginger Baker on two songs. It was released in 1971 by EMI in Africa and Europe and by Capitol/EMI in the United States and Canada. It was reissued on CD  in remastered form by Barclay with a bonus track from 1978.

Baker travelled with Kuti into Africa in a Land Rover to learn about the continent’s rhythms. The bonus track on the Barclay CD reissue features a 16-minute drum duet between Baker and Africa 70s drummer Tony Allen recorded at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival.(by wikipedia)

Originally released in 1971, this LP had Fela Kuti solidifying the format that would take him into international visibility in the years to come: extended tracks with grooves that mixed African and funk rhythms, punctuated by rudimentary lyrics. There are just four songs on the album, none shorter than seven minutes, and all but one going over the ten-minute mark. More than a dozen strong, his band, the Africa ’70, cooks pretty well on tracks that fuse jazz, soul, and African music in a trancelike fashion that avoids becoming stale, despite the length of the arrangements. Ex-Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker’s name was given prominence in the billing, probably to attract rock- and pop-oriented listeners who might not ordinarily take a chance on music from the African continent. However, it’s Fela and Africa ’70, not Baker, who are the dominant presence on a record that sounds much like a mixture of James Brown, fusion, and Nigerian forms. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Tony Abayomi (percussion
Tony Allen (drums, percussion)
Lekan Animashaun (saxophone)
Peter Animashaun (guitar)
Ginger Baker (drums, percussion)
Igo Chiko (saxophone)
Maurice Ekpo (bass)
Eddie Faychum (trumpet)
Friday Jumbo (percussion)
Henry Koffi (percussion)
Akwesi Korranting (percussion)
Fela Kuti (organ, percussion, vocals)
Isaac Olaleye (percussion)
Tunde Williams (trumpet)

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Tracklist:
01. Let’s Start (Kuti) 8.06
02. Black Man’s Cry (Kuti)12.12
03. Ye Ye De Smell (Kuti) 13.55
04. Egbe Mi O (Carry Me I Want To Die) (Kuti) 12.37
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05. Ginger Baker and Tony Allen Drum Solo (live 1978) (Kuti/Baker/Tony Allen) 16.21

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