Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Music Review: Various artists - Music and Rhythm

The doldrums of contemporary popular music have led many artists to other cultures in search of inspiration. Increasingly, bands such as Talking Heads and the Police are incorporating African or West Indian rhythms into their sound. Just how rich and varied that mix can be is evident on Music and Rhythm, a double-record set featuring musicians from more than 15 countries. The “benefit” album was intended to offset the debts of the World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD), a large multicultural festival held in England last summer. The collection places rock musicians, from former Genesis singer and festival promoter Peter Gabriel to the Who’s Peter Townshend, alongside the primeval sounds ...
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  24 Hits

King Sunny Adé - The African Beat

After exhausting the musical possibilities of rhythm and blues over the past 30 years, pop music is searching for ways to rejuvenate itself. The Police found success with their own brand of Jamaican reggae, and such bands as Talking Heads, the English Beat and Culture Club have eagerly borrowed ingredients from other Third World sources. Now musicians— including the Police—are turning to Africa for inspiration. Of all the sounds to come out of that continent recently the most influential—and exotic—is the juju music of Nigeria’s King Sunny Adé. Last week Adé played two triumphant concerts in Montreal and Toronto to coincide with Synchro System, his first album to be released in Canada. ...
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Manu Dibango: Dibango the Giant

Global music often works best on the dance floor where, free from ghetto-izing labels and strict radio formats, it can cross over and capture the imagination of anyone with open ears.No one knows this better than Manu Dibango, one of the giants of modern African music, whose hit 'Soul Makossa' became a dance-floor favorite more than two decades ago.Despite his classical training and his jazz sensibility, the Cameroonian master has spent much of his career tailoring his Afro- funk sound for dance clubs. He's collaborated with riddim twins Sly & Robbie, studio wiz Bill Laswell and Working Week's Simon Booth, who produced Dibango's brilliant 1991 album Polysonik, an African-flavored fo...
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Music Feature: Tarig Abubakar and the rise of African music in Toronto

On a cool June night in 1988, Tarig Abubakar found himself walking along a desolate highway near Montreal’s Mirabel Airport, a bewildered stranger in an even stranger land. The Sudanese-born musician had just arrived on a flight from the motherland seeking to start a new life in Canada. But, without a friend or relation to greet him, his luggage lost in transit and with only $10 in his pocket, he was a lost soul. Four Haitians spotted him—a weary black figure dressed in a disheveled white suit—and offered him a ride. When they learned his circumstances and that he had no destination, they took him to Ballatou, an African music club in downtown Montreal. Being English-speaking,...
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  252 Hits

Joseph Kabasele - Le Grand Kallé: His Life, His Music

Congolese music is characterized by sweet melodies and Latin rhythms. Kabasele gave birth to that sound. This two-CD set reflects the enormous influence he had at home and throughout Africa. Determined to create a non-colonial style, Kallé, as he became known, formed African Jazz in 1953 and began incorporating Afro-Cuban styles like the rumba and cha-cha, giving them a distinctly Congolese spin. Over the next 15 years, Kallé’s band—which featured big names like guitarist Dr. Nico, saxophonist Manu Dibango and singer Rochereau—recorded hundreds of popular recordings. Many are included here, including Baila, boasting Kallé’s appealing tenor vocals, and Table Ronde, with its cascading guitars....
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