Though labeled as a Cannonball Adderley Quintet session, this is actually a workout with a percussion section loaded with African drums, a big band, and in spots, voices – all unidentified. Nevertheless, this is one of the best and most overlooked of the Cannonball Adderley Capitols, a rumbling session that bursts with the joy of working in an unfamiliar yet vital rhythmic context. Cannonball turns in one of his swinging-est solos through a Varitone electronic attachment on Caiphus Semenya's "Gumba Gumba" and "Marabi" is a real hip-jiggler; you can't sit still through it. Other highlights include Cannon preaching blue smoke in his own Afro-Cuban-blues-flavored "Hamba Nami," a dignified trip through Wes Montgomery's "Up and At It," and Nat Adderley's commanding work on cornet at all times.
When one evaluates Paul Horn's career, it is as if he were two people, pre- and post-1967. In his early days, Horn was an excellent cool-toned altoist and flutist, while later he became a new age flutist whose music is often best used as background music for meditation…
It's hard to go wrong with Fela Kuti's work from the 1970s, and LIVE!, which features the Afrobeat innovator backed by his powerhouse band Africa '70 and ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker, is no exception. Like all of Fela's recordings from the era, LIVE! consists of just a few tracks, each of which approximates or exceeds the ten minute mark. Yet the arrangements are so dynamic on these tracks, the criss-crossing polyrhythms so absorbing, and Fela's incantatory vocals so entrancing that the long running times never seem a factor. Every cut crackles from beginning to end with its mixture of funk, jazz, and traditional Nigerian music, underscoring once again Fela's revolutionary, indelible contribution to world music.
During his career John Williams has not only explored the basic classical literature for guitar, he has also expanded it by inspiring, commissioning and arranging music from different cultures and in different styles, thereby transform the instrument's repertoire. To celebrate this outstanding and ongoing recording career Sony Classical has released a 2 CD retrospective entitled John Williams: The Ultimate Guitar Collection.
"On Beautiful Africa, Malian songwriter and guitar slinger Rokia Traoré unleashes the fiery rocker she's been nurturing since her teens. On four previous offerings she established herself as a wildly inventive and diverse songwriter, most notably on 2008's Tchamantché…" ~AMG, 4/5
In 1974, B.B. King brought the blues back to Africa. Invited to take part in the three-day music festival which featured the legendary boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, King played before a crowd of over 80,000 Africans and delivered a performance considered by many to be one of the greatest of his phenomenal career. B.B. King filled the night with his raw power, searing energy and heart stopping emotion.