There are countless Bob Marley compilations on the market, but what will generate some interest in this one, which is essentially a collection of his Island singles with a handful of his Lee "Scratch" Perry-era tracks added in, is the inclusion of a "new" Marley song, "Slogans," derived from a demo tape Marley made in a Miami hotel room in 1979…
This classic recording has a beautiful balance of African aesthetics meet American soul, jazz, funk, rock and pop. The songs have a vintage sound that could only have been made by a South African playing American music in 1971. Along these lines, the album cover is the perfect visual representation of the music. While having a 1970's sound, "Hugh Masekela & the Union of South Africa" is by no means outdated, nor will it ever. The disc has an enjoyable mix of slow ballads, township infused instrumentals and fast funk. The song writing is superb, the musical improvisation is good and the voices soar.
Over the decades, many musicians from the African-American ethnic group have turned to Africa for musical inspiration. For some, it was to prove only a partial or brief flirtation, while others embraced the tonal and rhythmic elements the continent’s music had to offer on a more serious basis. We have collected the best of the latter here. The American musicians assembled on this compilation were certainly not the only ones to mine the inspirational qualities of African music in the Fifties and Sixties but these were the principal players who chose to add a little colour and ethnicity to their repertoire.
"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
Somewhere in Afrika, an ode to Mann's home country of South Africa, contains a formula that is atypical of Manfred Mann's Earth Band sound. With rhythms that combine an African flavor with a modern rock feel, vocalist Mick Rogers takes over on vocals with the number 22 hit "Runner," released as the album's only single…
The album newly remastered from the original master tapes. John Coltrane assembles a 20-piece band for these three songs. There's McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, Elvin Jones, and 16 others. It's heavy on brass, per the title, there are five french horns, for example. There are notable players like Eric Dolphy, Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and Julian Priester in the band, but the solos are by Coltrane, Tyner, or Jones. The orchestration was done by Coltrane, Tyner, and Dolphy. The liner notes say Dolphy did a lot of it, later it came out Tyner did more (though Dolphy was no longer around to argue the point). It's not really a big band in the Duke Ellington style, but with all of the horns, it's certainly a big band.
In this concert staged on what would have been reggae legend Bob Marley's sixtieth birthday, a whole host of musicians gather in historic Meskel Square of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a twelve hour concert presented to highlight Marley's timeless message of universal unity and understanding. In addition to capturing many of the performances on camera, the filmmakers also turn their attentions to the UNICEF-sponsored symposia and numerous children's workshops that were conducted during the week-long "Africa Unite" celebration, and addressing such crucial issues as human rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, conflict transformation, and youth and women's empowerment.