Fingerprints Music

634457401020

Details

Format: CD
Label: Mr. Bongo (UK)
Catalog: SUSHICD056
Rel. Date: 06/24/2008
UPC: 634457401020

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Artist: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
Format: CD
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Reviews:

Unlike some musical titans who died before their time, Fela Kuti is far from underrepresented on disc. Especially following MCA's monstrous reissue project at the start of the decade, the Fela market has been admirably glutted. (Newcomers are advised to start with the two-disc sampler Best of the Black President and spread out from there.) What's more, afrobeat, the Nigerian funk style that Fela single-handedly pioneered, is easily the most popular African music with American audiences, and one of the few that's inspired younger musicians to adapt it to their own idiom.

As if that weren't enough to insure Fela's legacy, then there are his kids'"while they're not quite as numerous as his CDs, there could well be a few scions we haven't heard from yet. The most internationally successful of Fela's clan has been Femi Kuti, a capable bandleader who's always come across as a mite smooth on disc. But with this self-titled disc, Fela's youngest son, Seun'"the Damian to Femi's Ziggy, the Sean to his Julian'"becomes his father's rightful heir.

At 26, Seun is already an afrobeat veteran. He joined Egypt 80, his dad's final band, when he was just nine, and took over leadership duties after Fela's death in 1997. He's got the musical blueprint down pat'"the scratch-guitar-driven polyrhythms skitter along fiercely underneath, the amassed brass bludgeons righteously up top. Summoning up much of his father's vocal thunder, though less of his self-confident irony, Seun addresses the problems of Africa passionately, if sometimes obliquely. And if you've ever thought Fela long-winded, you'll be pleased to learn that Seun gets to the point moredirectly than his father ever did. Not one track here extends over 10 minutes'"sure, not what some would call concise, but with afrobeat, hey, it's all, you know, relative.

        
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