Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Femi Kuti:Day By Day
Femi Kuti's first studio album in seven years re-establishes the prince of Afrobeat as a voice in the contemporary Afrobeat community. His trademark punchy horn lines and passionate, politically engaged vocals represent Femi's style having grown but not changed significantly. He still has his own style, his own sound, and his own message, different from his father Fela and brother Seun.
As the son of Fela Anikulapo Kuti—Afrobeat pioneer, African music icon and international protest figure—Femi started playing in his father's band, Egypt 80, at a young age. He later broke away from Egypt 80 to start his own band, Positive Force, which played at The Shrine, Fela's home club in Lagos, Nigeria, one night a week. Femi has long displayed his father's passion for social justice and political action, but has differed from Fela on many fronts including his views on religion (skeptical) and AIDS (concerned). Femi’s almost taunting references to the folly of relying on religion to solve human problems is a persistent theme in these songs.
A couple of the tracks on Day by Day ("Oyimbo" and "One Two") are studio versions of songs performed on Live at the Shrine, Femi’s 2004 concert CD/DVD (Palm Pictures). Almost every song on the album has a strong political message, notably "Tell Me" and "Demo Crazy.” Several of the tracks have a soft, jazzy feel at times such as "Tension Grip Africa" and "Untitled.” Using the organ, guitar, trumpet, and various percussion instruments, Femi creates a soft backdrop against which the powerful horn section of Positive Force contrasts radically.
"Do You Know?" starts off with a funky bass line and Femi asking, "Do you know Miles Davis? Do you know John Coltrane? Dizzy Gillespie? Duke Ellington? Do you know Billy Holliday?" It’s an echo of the jazz education Fela famously passed on to his eldest son, and so many others in Nigeria. The guitar and organ parts are emphasized in a sly, scratchy manner in the early part of the song before the horn section comes in as a whole and then solos. Femi has been honing his keyboard skills for the past several years. His progress is evident in this track’s the funky jazz vibe furnished by strong keyboard and guitar riffing. By the way, the songs ends with the line, “Do you know Fela Anikulapo Kuti?”
When younger brother Seun released his debut album with Fela’s Egypt 80 earlier this year, some in the Afrobeat community were ready to forget about Femi and summarily ordain Seun as the leader of the next generation of Afrobeat. Seun and Femi are very different and Day by Day is a clear example why. Seun, playing with Egypt 80, is picking up where his father left off, refining his father’s style and legacy. Femi has never been concerned with being the next Fela. Positive Force and Egypt 80 co-existed for several years before Fela's death, and each of Femi’s albums has added themes, arranging and production techniques, and even stylistic variations aimed at defining a personal sound. Day by Day continues Femi’s individual course, and Afrobeat as a genre is better for it. Happily, Afrobeat has room for Fela, Seun, and Femi—each on his own.
Femi:El Hijo del famoso cantante Nigeriano "Fela Kuti" revolucionario de la musica.
Viene con su ultima ptoducion en estudio despues de 7 años de no grabar en estudios.
- DJ Vico
- Jackson Heights, N.Y, United States
- Naci en Cali,Colombia,ciudad salsera por excelencia,considerada como "Capital Mundial de la Salsa". Desde niño conoci los ritmos afro-caribeños de la mano de la Sonora Matancera los cuales fueron mis inicios salseros. Muy joven salgo del pais hacia Europa y encuentro que los ritmos latinos habian llegado y comenzaban a pegar muy fuerte.España,Francia e Italia estaban alborotados por el sabor y el ritmo afro latino. En esta misma epoca tube la oportunidad de viajar a Africa y conocer mucho mas de los inicios de la salsa al escuchar los tambores Bata de las manos de los africanos. A mi regreso a Cali reafirmo mi gusto por la salsa compartiendo y aprendiendo de grandes maestros y coleccionistas caleños y asistiendo a salsotecas tradicionales como La Barola, La Ponceña, La Mulenze y por supuesto La Taberna Latina de Gary Dominguez. Sigo despues con mis viajes por las antillas:Cuba, Puerto Rico, Republica Dominicana y alli sigo absorbiendo mas ese sabor salsero que ya inundaba estas tierras. Decido radicarme en New York, donde me he encontrado a grandes figuras de la salsa que han decidido vivir aca y mostrar el sabor de la salsa desde la Capital del Mundo.