By John Collins
Fela: Kalakuta Notes is an evocative account of Fela Kuti—the Afrobeat star who took African tune into the world of direct motion. along with his antiestablishment songs, he devoted himself to Pan-Africanism and the down-trodden Nigerian plenty, or “sufferheads.” within the Seventies, the British/Ghanaian musician and writer John Collins met and labored with Fela in Ghana and Nigeria. Kalakuta Notes includes a diary that Collins stored in 1977 whilst he acted in Fela’s autobiographical movie, Black President. The booklet deals revealing interviews with Fela by way of the writer, in addition to with band individuals, acquaintances, and co-workers.
For this moment version, Collins has elevated the unique advent by way of delivering wanted context for well known tune in Africa within the Nineteen Sixties and the impacts at the artist’s track and politics. In a brand new concluding bankruptcy, Collins displays at the legacy of Fela: the unfold of Afrobeat, Fela’s musical childrens, Fela’s Shrine and Kalakuta residence, and the once a year Felabration. because the airborne dirt and dust settles over Fela’s fiery, artistic, and arguable occupation, his Afrobeat groove and political message continue to exist in Kalakuta Notes. encompasses a new foreword via Banning Eyre, an up to date discography by way of Ronnie Graham, a timeline, historic pictures, and snapshots via the author.
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Extra resources for Fela: Kalakuta Notes
The way we would take pains to create things, how we blended and performed our music. That was the foundation of Fela’s Afrobeat—I’m talking of highlife. You see at the time in Lagos there was only the apala and juju of I. K. Dairo and Haruna Ishola, which were mainly an aggregate of percussive instruments. So Fela got easily attracted to highlife, since his interest was in horns. Afrobeat is a very sensitive music because Fela created it at a stage of his life when he required a lot of sympathy.
That year Zik and Herbert Macaulay founded the independence party called the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) that Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti supported. Second, there were a number of big strikes that year by Nigerian workers. There was a general strike led by the Nigerian Trade Union Congress (led by Michael Imoudu) that involved tens of thousands of railway, transport, dock, and civil service workers. Nigerian popular artists of the times even became involved in this dispute, such as the leader of the Nigerian popular theater movement, Hubert Ogunde, 19 Introduction who produced the sensational play, Strike and Hunger.
This Quintet had a base at the Victor Olaiya’s Cool Cats Inn where we were playing every Monday night. In the group Fela was playing trumpet and piano. On bass was Emmanuel Ngomalio, on drums was a guy called John Bull, on guitar Don Amechi, a fantastic guitarist, and we also had this organist Sid Moss. In later years we had the saxist Igo Chiko and other musicians were coming as guests; like Zeal Onyia on trumpet and Art Alade and Wole Bucknor on piano, Bayo Martins on drums—then later Steve Rhodes [piano].