Saturday, April 25, 2009

King and Queen

This record -- Juju Music by King Sunny Adé and His African Beats (1982) -- is amazing. It's hard to believe I've gotten this far into life without hearing it, but I got it on vinyl today for $1 at a yard sale and it's like I just heard Bitches Brew for the first time or tripped upon a bootleg of a secret jam session involving Animal Collective and Steve Miller Band. At times it sounds like drums/space for Mensa members. Other times like Blues for Allah as interpreted by a supergroup composed of Lee Scratch Perry and Yes. Or it's as if Girl Talk is blending together rare outsider funk samples from Ohio and later it turns out it's just one band playing all the samples and they're Nigerian. You get the idea. A revelation.

Sunny Ti De Aribya - King Sunny Adé and His African Beats

Mo Beru Agba - King Sunny Adé and His African Beats

Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi - King Sunny Adé and His African Beats << If you just want to dip your toe, start here.

Samba/E Falabe Lewe - King Sunny Adé and His African Beats

The more I've listened to Betty Davis, the closer I've come to deciding that she is a major musical figure. Majorly unsung, certainly. I can't think of anyone else who sounds like her. It's funk rock stretched to near-Beefheartian looseness, the singing just wig-out, bat-shit crazy, almost 3D. She wields estrogen power like a rocket-propelled grenade. Booty will move. The bass player on this track (Larry Graham, from Sly & the Family Stone) is so monstrous, so assertive and in tune with Davis' funk, it's like they're having an affair behind Miles's back.

Don't Call Her No Tramp - Betty Davis

1 comment:

mr said...

Wow. She's kind of awesome.