Showing posts from 2014

Antibalas with guest star Tony Allen On drums - Live @ Jazz à la Vilette...

Alagbon Close

Tony Allen the legendary Africa 70 drummer shows the current crop of Afro-Beat musicians how it's done.

A composer/arranger in his own right. The "Doctor of Drums" as we called him back in the day, shows here why Fela Kuti's music had such power.

Featuring here with Antibalas at Jazz Villette to a full house. Tony Allen shows that he hasn't lost any of his chops.

The song Alagbon Close was composed by Fela Kuti to reflect his experience at the hands of the authorities when he was locked up at the notorious Alagbon Close detention cells, in Ikoyi Lagos.

In later years, a lot of the second republic politicians in Nigeria will suffer the same fate. Bad treatment, mental torture and a disregard for the judicial process at Alagbon Close, after the Military staged a coup and locked some of them up there as well.

One of the cells at Alagbon was called Kalakuta and Fela found himself incarcerated here. When he was eventually released, Fela named his own compound …

Joe Sample - A Tribute

A tribute to Joe Sample and The Crusaders

Joe Sample died on 12th September, 2014. He was seventy five years old.

Mr Sample was a keyboard player extraordinaire and composer. A founder member of the Jazz Crusaders that later became the Crusaders in 1971.

Since forming the Crusaders, Joe Sample has recorded over twenty one solo albums in over five decades. Several tracks from these recordings were later to be sampled, helping to create new interpretations and work for younger artists. Amongst these was 2Pacs track "Dear Mama." ( 2Pac - Dear Mama)
An innovative composer and instrumentalist, he was a pioneer of the contemporary jazz form. Achieved by reaching back to primary sources in jazz, Interpreting classics of soul, be-bop and other forms of music by composers as diverse as Jelly Roll Morton, The Gershwins, Al Jolson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and many others.
Re-defining these powerful legacies, he established his reputation as a solid and imagin…

Jimmy Scott!

Origins of the Beatle song Ob-La-di-Ob-la-da!
Jimmy Scott played congas with Ambrose Campbell in Soho Clubs in the 1950s and probably into the 1960s as well.
Oladipupo Adekoya (Alias Ambrose) Campbell was born in Lagos, Nigeria. His interest in the local West African palm wine music that eventually evolved into different genres of  highlife, juju and other forms was just the beginning of his innovation and talent. A lot of respectable African musicians cite him as their main inspiration.

It didn't stop there, he arrived in Britain during World War II and by the late forties to the early fifties was resident at Abalabi Club which later became Ronnie Scotts.

Paul first heard the words 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' uttered by Nigerian conga player Jimmy Scott, whom he met at the Bag o' Nails club in Soho, London. A flamboyant and unforgettable character in dark glasses and African clothing, Scott was renowned for his catch phrases: "He used these phrases every day of his life,&qu…

Abdul Tee-Jay

The Music of West Africa:
Before electric guitars and amplifiers, big band and highlife, acoustic palm wine music was popular and was one of the main traditional forms of music played across West Africa.
In a lot of palm wine bars, a traditional box (thumb piano) called Agidigbo in western Nigeria was played by musicians. Then came the acoustic guitar versions of the same music and palm wine music naturally evolved into something special. 
Palm wine music is still popular throughout West Africa. In Sierra Leone, it's known as Maringa. First popularised by Ebenezer Calendar and his Maringa Band. It never stopped evolving with the times.
Abdul Tee-Jay has blended the various African forms. Highlife, Milo Jazz, Makossa, Soukous and Benga, incorporating all these styles to create his own particular unique sound with his band Rokoto.

Gumbe was also another form closely associated with the music of West Africa.

Tee-Jay will be playing a cozy set in Camden North London next month during the 12…

Johnny Winter I Smell Trouble 1984 Part1

Turn off the Music Widget Below before You View This Clip

Johnny Winter (1944 - 2014)

I first heard about Johnny Winter when Blues King BB King talked about him on an interview he did sometime ago. BB said; "I was playing in Chicago to an all black audience when four white guys came in. I thought it was the IRS. One of them who was very white came up and asked to sit in. At first I wasn't sure, in the end I agreed. I played really difficult, changed keys and everything but he kept up. He was really good!"

I couldn't understand why I'd never heard of him. He played the authentic blues licks like most  black bluesmen. I thought to myself this guy must be a black albino, but I was wrong. He was born into a white family of musicians from Texas USA. A multi-instrumentalist to boot, he worked with the legendary Muddy Waters and a lot of the blues greats.

Ed Vulliamy of the Observer describes him as, "the black blues-men's white blues-man." No exaggeration the…

Eulogy for Sidi

David Cruickshank gave this eulogy at the celebration of Sidi's life. It sums up the man in a nutshell:
Eulogy for Sidi

When writing to the organisers of a conference I was supposed to be attending today, and speaking at the same time as this commemoration, I found myself saying: "Siddi was one of the first Black African exponents of an educational programme in the UK, and beyond, for all backgrounds to be exposed to the cultural traditions of West Africa; drumming,dance and song, along with weaving, sculpture and story telling, were all part of the rich tapestry of subject matter he promoted. I was one of his earliest students and amidst all the upheaval and "revolution" of the early seventies, he pioneered respect and recognition in the school curriculum for these subjects, particularly for young black people across the African diaspora. His dream was to establish a cultural University housed within a self sufficient farming community in Yedji, the township of…

Master Drummer and Craftsman

Sidi Ahmed Siddy 1st Aug., 1934 - 25th June, 2014:

Laid to rest at Brookwood cemetery in Surrey, last Thursday, the late Sidi's funeral was more a celebration of his life.

Sidi Ahmed Siddy died two months short of his 80th birthday. A craftsman and master drummer of the highest calibre, when he wasn't making various African percussive instruments, he was in schools and institutions teaching students how to craft and manufacture their own instruments through recycling materials rather than chopping down trees.

Below, more pictures from Surrey. Drummers, dancers, musician friends and acquaintances joined Sidi's long term partner, together with daughters to celebrate Sidi Ahmed Siddy's life.

Back at his home, more musicians and other friends came to pay their respects.

Using Images

Heightening Your Profile:

Are you sharing images across social platforms?

If you're not sharing images of your performances. Stuff that could resonate with your fans or visitors to your web page and other platforms, you're missing out.

Do you want new fans as well as keeping the ones you've already got? If the answer is yes, read on...
Images or visual content is more effective in Social Media. It gets your message across faster than audio, text or even video. There is power in pictures (What I usually refer to as PIP). It can't be restricted to only Pinterest and/or Instagram. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are aware of this trend and are beginning to showcase images as well. Power in Pictures (PIP) reminds me of the popular phrase, "Every picture tells a story." An image or picture can sometimes communicate more effectively than a thousand words on a page, depending on the context.If you're a performer and are actively working, performing live regularl…

Naija Grooves with Yomi Bashiru!

Wednesday 21st May:
Pure African dance music featuring the different elements and expressions of the Fuji, Highlife, Afro-beat and Juju is how I can describe Yomi bashiru's music.
The melodies, rhythm and lyrics are uncompromisingly Nigerian. The categorisation is described in the name Yomi calls his band,Naija Grooves.
Another evening of African music at Vortex Jazz Club last Wednesday. 

If you love to dance, or have been to a happening party in Lagos Nigeria, you will appreciate the tunes even more. The sound of the talking drum accentuated this fusion of the different genres blended together with guitars, keyboards and sax jazzed the music up to another level.

Most Nigerian parties would be incomplete without this type of music. It is the ideal sound that inspires the men to get up on the dance floor with their women and dance the night away.

I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more about Yomi Bashiru in the very near future.
Oya O, let the spraying begin...
Peace out!

More …

Rough Science the Band

Innovative excursion into Ska, Fusion and originality
Rough Science at the Record Club
A week after the launch of their new CD, I sat in a Kentish Town restaurant with Joe Blake. The drummer and a leading member of the band, Rough Science and we discussed their gig in Camden the week before.

The gig at the Record Club in Camden Town, was to mark the official launch of Rough Science's double EP on that Saturday 29th March and the venue was filled with fans, family, friends and well wishers.

The band put on a good show with thrilling songs like "Turning Me On", "Battered and Bruised", "Rebel" and the kick ass song "Our Way" as well as the other tracks from the new album now on sale on iTunes. In my opinion, this band with their own unique and original repertoire of contemporary Ska and fusion had a sound all their own.

Ace drummer Joe is an experienced musician. He had his first record deal at sixteen years old and hasn't looked back. The other…

African Composers Series 2

Aubrei Woki and The Kalahari
My photos were terrible but the music was good. You can see below how I messed it up. The music was terrific, in stark contrast to the pictures I snapped that evening.

That was Saturday, 8th March at Vortex Jazz Club. On stage, Aubrei Woki and The Kalahari playing their hearts out entertaining an audience of music lovers. The final part of the African Composers Series, Aubrei's band Kalahari were in form.
A native of Botswana, Aubrei has been a musician, bassist and composer for over thirty years. He has performed with high profile artists and legends during those years. Hugh Masekela, Dudu Pukwana, Township Express, Pinise Saul and The South AfricanGospel Singers.
The set list were tracks from their latest CD "Money." A collection of Southern African music that told stories about life in Africa. It was an exciting evening, the excitement must have been too much to bear and I as a result, took the worst photographs ever.
I put my hands up that I g…

Music News

AfricanComposers Series 2:
Lucky Ranku and his band entertained and impressed last thursday evening at Vortex Jazz Club.
Part of the second series this year featuring African composers. Those of us at this event were entertained with beautiful songs, great melodies that brought back memories. It was a reminder that South African Township Jazz is still alive and kicking.
The veteran guitarist and composer played to a packed audience of music lovers. Every seat was taken but that was okay, the rest of us were in the open area at the back, vibing and dancing to the music.

This event transported me back to the Apartheid era of the 1970s and 80s when as exiles, Lucky Ranku and his friends lived and gigged in London, sometimes touring and in the process made a name for themselves on the circuit.
"Most of the guys I played with have passed on, that's why I have these young people in my band. I can at least pass the baton to them so the music can keep evolving." He said.
A great event…

What do you like about Music, Art and Design?

A signpost and direction road map for those seeking to find and explore music art and design used in everyday life.

Useful information to help you find your own way and discover what you really like about Music, Art and Design.

Short and sweet information about professionals working within the industry.

Music:Illegal downloading of music further squeezes and deprives composers and talented artist of legitimate revenue that could help them develop their creative talent. It is unnecessary and counterproductive if you're a music lover or consumer.
Nowadays, songs are cheap and accessible. Ninety pence for a song is great value for money for a product that could last a lifetime. have gone one better because they sell most tracks for less than fifty pence. There is no excuse to illegally download anymore. It is unnecessary.

Madeon Official Store Specialise in Electronic and Dance music at myplay Direct Inc

Michael Jackson IMMORTAL Official Store also part of myplay Direct Inc gives…