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.

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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Music Feature: Femi Kuti - Keeping Fela's Afrobeat alive

His father cast a long shadow. Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a musical star and political icon whose global popularity made him both a hero and an enemy of the state in his native Nigeria. But Femi Kuti has learned to live in that shadow. As the son of the inventor of the politically charged, wildly percussive music known as Afro-beat, Femi has picked up where his legendary father, who died in 1997, left off. Signed to a French record label, Femi has taken Afro-beat and fused it with elements of soul and hip-hop to create one of this spring’s most talked-about releases. Titled Shoki Shoki (Barclay/Universal), the powerful album promises to make a star of the 37-year-old singer-saxophonist, who has...
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Feature Article: Africa's Cult Musician - Fela Anikulapo Kuti

When one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians receives visitors at his home in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, he lounges in little more than a striped bathing suit, which tends to slip down in the back. But when Fela Anikulapo Kuti jumps on stage to perform, his costume is a study in flamboyance. He wears a blue jump suit and pants embroidered with saxophones. His act is equally colorful. He sways his saxophone and waves his arms to keep his 27 musicians in line. Between blasts of his multicolored sax, Fela sings in pidgin English the provocative lyrics that have aroused the ire of the military government of his native Nigeria—and which have won him the title of the Afrobeat King, as critic...
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