News has landed that two albums by the legendary Fela Kuti will be released to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
As two of Fela Kuti’s most admired recordings turn 50 this year, to celebrate the occasion, both London Scene and the iconic live album Kuti recorded with Cream’s Ginger Baker will be reissued on vinyl via Partisan Records. Both albums will be released this autumn, with London Scene dropping on November 5th and Live! With Ginger Baker coming out on November 19th. Live! will also feature remastered audio from the original tapes at Abbey Road Studios.
On top of that, a rediscovered second drum solo featuring Tony Allen and Ginger Baker from Afrika 70’s performance at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival is available to stream now. A previous solo from the two drumming legends can be found on the original Live! With Ginger Baker, but this second section has never been heard before.
Afrika 70’s performance at 1978’s Berlin Jazz Festival was the group’s last live show. By spring 1979, many of its members had parted ways, with Allen himself leaving the band. Allen had been Fela’s drummer since 1964. But a new decade marked new beginnings and, in 1980, Egypt 80 were born. Its lineup featured Baritone saxophonist Lekan Animashaun, who had been performing with Fela since 1965.
This year saw Fela Kuti nominated for the Rock + Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021, coming behind Tina Turner in the fan vote. The saxophonist, bandleader, and activist also featured in a recent episode of the docuseries McCartney 3, 2, 1, where Paul McCartney cited Fela as one of his biggest influences.
Elsewhere, Partisan records have launched a scholarship programme for Fela Kuti’s old music college, the renowned Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Further details on the scholarship can be found here.
Listen to the first part of the famed drum solo between Tony Allen and Ginger Baker below.