Very unpleasant news to report today, as Algerian-French singer Rachid Taha passed away today from a heart attack. He was one of the first and most important artists to fuse Raï and rock together in a way that gained him fame all over the world. Here he is taking on The Clash’s cult classic.
Chris May at The Vinyl Factory has done a great job making choices for introducing their vinyl junkie readership to the best of Ethiopian jazz from the 1960s onward. Special thanks to Al Clark for pointing this wonderful link out to me.
Thanks to a spate of reissues of classic material from the 1970s across various labels, Benin’s music scene has been receiving a lot of very well-deserved attention. Among the best of the modern bands is The Gangbé Brass Band, who blend horns and traditional instruments with incredible vocal harmonies.
Agb’oju L’ogun was the dance floor hit sensation of 1979. Nigerian composer Shina Williams managed to gather the finest musicians working in Lagos, and this boogie beast is what they came up with.
Momo Wandel Soumah was a saxophonist and vocalist from Guinea who did a stunning job mixing jazz (especially that of the Charlie Parker and John Coltrane variety) with ethnic music from his region of the world. This session was recorded in 1991.
He passed away in 2003, but left this album as his legacy.
Abu Obaida Hassan had a wonderful career during the 1970s and 1980s making the kids sway in Khartoum, Sudan with his tambour, but by the second decade of this century, Sudanese media pronounced him dead. Thankfully, he is far from it, and courtesy of Ostinato Records, he has a fine retrospective coming out on May 18, 2018.