Saturday, October 15, 2022

Ethos, Pathos & Lagos

Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Africa '70 - Pansa Pansa

Here goes a Saturday Night Special with which to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

I have covered him before, but a timeless figure such as this deserves his own blog, dedicated exclusively to him, anyway.

Perhaps the ballsiest musical figure in human history, the Nigerian authorities savagely beat him to the point of near death after just about every single release.
They didn't appreciate the full-length LPs very much either.

To describe him as "fully committed" would be a sad undersell.

In addition to his revolutionary status, and him being the singlemost recognizable musician in African history, he also smoked herb which caused the likes of Paul McCartney to broadly hallucinate.

There is almost no one like him in the vast history of Music, when you get right down to it.

If there were 10 such as he today, outright, primordial fascism might not be making such an unprecedented comeback.

Oh yeah, I forgot: all of the above plus he invented an entire genre of music called Afrobeat that still wields a huge global influence decades after his demise.

He was born in 1938 on this day, so he'd have been 84 today.

To celebrate this monumental figure of all music, we'll break out an audio transfer of one of his most famous performances, up to now only available on a DVD in a German box set.

This is his last show with the original Africa '70, who all summarily quit when he announced after the performance that all revenue from his career would now go into political initiatives.

They didn't call Fela Anikulapo Kuti "The Black President" for nuthin'.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Africa '70
Berliner Jazztage
Berlin, Germany

01 Berliner Jazztage introduction
02 band introductions by Kwesi Yope
03 V.I.P. (Vagabonds In Power)
04 Power Show 
05 Pansa Pansa 
06 Cross Examination of the African Colonial Soldier
07 Ginger Baker & Tony Allen drum duet (bonus track)
08 Mistake (bonus track)

Total time: 1:56:54
disc break goes after Track 04

Fela Anikulapo Kuti - organ, tenor saxophone, percussion & vocals
Tony Allen - drums
Lenkan Animashaun (Baba Ani) - baritone saxophone
Christopher Uwaifor - tenor saxophone
Ogene Kologbo - guitar
Shegun (Leke Benson) - guitar
Oye Shobowale - trumpet
Tunde (Baba Tunde) Williams - trumpet
Franco Aboddy - bass
Henry “Ojo” Kofi - congas (Gbede)
Shina Abiodun - congas
Addo Nettey - congas
Ayola Abayomi - sticks & claves
Isaac Abayomi - shekere
Bernadette Oghomienor - vocals
Tejumade Adebiyi - vocals
Sade Shehindemi - vocals
Regina Osundor - vocals
Felicia Idonije - vocals
Suru Eriomila - vocals
Ginger Baker - drums on Track 07

192/48k mono HD audio (spectral analysis goes past 22k!) sourced from the DVD contained in the 2009 "Anthology 2" box set on Label Maison
Tracks 07 & 08, which are stereo, are sourced from the 2016 box set "The Complete Works of Fela Anikulapo Kuti" on the Knitting Factory label
DVD portion extracted, converted to CD Audio 16/44, tracked and very slightly remastered by EN, 2018
651 MB FLAC/direct link

I've taken the liberty of placing a few extra goodies in the folder with the Berlin concert, which -- taken together with this little compendium from a few years back -- constitute all the many hours of Fela I have in my phone.

There's a couple more killer birthdays I have slated for the remainder of October -- including a sweet 9th anniversary post for this page! -- but if you're prescient you'll not miss out on The Black President!--J.

10.15.1938 - 8.2.1997