Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Drums & Passion
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
Africa's First Musical Ambassador
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent collector's set. Complete with 24 page booklet containing authoratative writing on the music, discography, and rare photos from original recording sessions. It speaks volumes about the youth-culture driven recording industry in the U.S. (and perhaps the mark of a major cultural difference regarding the importance of music to society) that this difinitive collection of Olatunji's recordings was produced by a German label that does not even specialize in African or World Beat music. The owner of the label was so taken by Olatunji's music it became his pet project to do the box set so it is thorough, well designed and will more than satisfy the archivist as well as the fan. The box set includes rare singles ('Lady Kennedy', written and performed for Jackie at a democratic fundraiser in the 60's) along with all the full-length recordings for the major U.S. labels. Because of multi-instrumentation centered on drums and percussion, which even today with advances in technology remain a challenge to record, and because of the technique of recording 'live' much of the collection resonates with an historical timbre. Olatunji is the original, historic figure who brought traditional African music to the commercial record industry at a time when rock'n'roll was about to transform it. His recording career began in 1959 and as of 2002 he was still a working musician. The appeal and influence of his music was broad based, leading top jazz musicians as well as popular music artists from Coltrane to Dylan, Dizzy Gillespie to Joan Baez and Carlos Santana, to take serious notice. This is music that is undeniably powerful, moody, exhilarating and joyous, qualities artists sought to achieve in every genre, and qualities that easily make any music a hit with record buyers. It is evident one of Olatunji's greater talents was in bringing together large and small ensembles to present African music as a very positive artistic force. Because of his wide range of activities as musician, cultural ambassador, teacher, cultural activist, there will be more efforts that will seek to collect his work. But this is the first. It is extremely well done, and way overdue."