Direct from Nigeria, the prodigal son of legendary musician Fela Kuti (inspiration for mega Broadway hit, Fela) Femi Kuti was never satisfied with being The King's heir. With his 13-piece band and dancers Femi Kuti has found his own voice, winning three Grammy nominations for his sizzling blend of Afrobeat, soul, funk, and psychedelic rock.
Like father, like son. The undisputed inheritor of the genius of Nigerian Afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti is his young son Femi. Femi's version of Afrobeat is the most exciting new sound to emerge from Nigeria for years, borrowing the best elements from his father's powerfully polyrhythmic prototype, a funky, jazzy, heavily percussive sound that took James Brown's beat back to Africa. But Femi adds to that winning formula the freshness and exuberance of young Lagos and its taste for the new dance music of America.
Femi first rose to prominence in 1985 when he appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, fronting Fela's forty piece band Egypt 80 after Fela had failed to make it onto the plane having been arrested at Lagos airport and jailed on a trumped-up fraud charge. Femi came to the rescue that night giving a show that brought the packed Bowl to its feet. Even though they had paid to see and hear the charismatic Fela, Femi was able to fully satisfy them with the same rude, muscular sax style (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone) and lean self-confidence.
Two years later, Femi had formed his own young band - THE POSITIVE FORCE - and released their debut album entitled No Cause for Alarm, a raw but impressive mixture of funky soul-jazz, driving percussion and horns and sharp social comment. Strong interest in this album prompted a dramatic debut appearance in Paris where Femi's no-holds-barred show devastated a huge audience. He has since carried out numerous extensive European tours with critics inevitably but favorably comparing the big band sound of the fourteen strong group with Fela's legendary Egypt 80. They also reported that the group of lithe and sensual dancer/singers (which includes one of Fela's daughters, Yeni) provide a visual feast which has to be seen to be believed.
“One of the true giants of African music.” -- Q Magazine
“One of the most dynamic and invigorating figures around.” -- The Times (London)
RONNEY LYSTER AND ABEL TOLL OF THE AUTOSAVER GROUP
SUSAN GRESSER AND STAN BAKER