With a title like “Deep Funk Africa,” this CD compilation had better deliver. And deliver it does — 14 steaming slabs of rough-hewn funk from Ghana, Mobutu’s Zaire, Sierra Leone and beyond.
In the 1950s, Africans across the continent were deeply influenced by a rock ‘n’ roll wave that paved the way for a hugely popular acceptance of James Brown’s funk. If Brown was influenced by the polyrhythms of Africa, his own message of black power and solidarity, in turn, influenced his African listeners, who were ripe for such a message in those early postcolonial years. Brown’s attitude and his funk helped give rise to Afro-beat, a school of charismatic, horn-driven African funk that is most commonly associated with the late Fela Kuti of Nigeria, and which has since conquered the World Music charts and inspired bands as far away as Brooklyn (check out Antibalas’ new release “Talkatif” as a good example).
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