Wednesday 1 December 2021

The extraordinary life and music of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

This post is in reference to the meditative, calming, minimal, but nevertheless very beautiful music of the almost a century old so called "honky tonk" nun from Ethiopia: 

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (Gəʿəz ፅጌ ማርያም ገብሩ) 

Born Yewubdar Gebru, December 12, 1923 died March 26, 2023

As some of her music was used in the excellent new movie "Passing" as well as in many other movies and documentaries in the recent years since her album was reissued in the fantastic 

Ethiopiques series of Buda Records.

I felt compelled to revisit the wonderful piano music of this now 97 year old legend living in a nunnery in Jerusalem now. For any of you who have not heard her amazing life story here are some links: 

Press: Guardian     Podcast: BBC

Blogs: Found Sound Nation     In sheep's clothing Hi/Fi     PAM  

Documentary & more: emahoymusicfoundation 

Listen to her music on youtube         

Listen on bandcamp: Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru

Emahoy Tsegué​-​Maryam Guèbrou • The Song of The Sea (1953)

Documentary: Labyrinth of Belonging Trailer



Guardian    Songlines

RIP  በሰላም አርፈዋል (beselami ārifewali)

Enjoy her music & be touched!

Monday 4 January 2021

Enjoy a Funny, Happy & Healthy New Year with Spike Jones!

Wishing you all a Happier & Healthy New Year (after all the crazy shit we went through last year)! It's always better to start the year with a good laugh!

And who is better equipped for this musically than Spike Jones, 
who was an inspiration for Frank Zappa and countless other musical anarchists 
with his meticulously arranged parodies!

And here he is again with an Oompah Band version of his City slickers!

What a brilliant send up of the GRÖFAZ & his thugs
(German acronym for "Greatest Fuhrer of all times")

In case you want to find out more about this crazy man:
Here is a Spike Jones Documentary!

RIP Spike Jones, but I according to this documentary
 he  will be forever restless and he wasn't keen on peace either!

Tuesday 30 June 2020

RIP Lucky, "Son of a Bluesman" Peterson dies at 55!

Bluesman Lucky Peterson died after a long and prolific 50 years career at just 55!
A child protegee, who was discovered by Willie Dixon and recorded his first album at the age of 5 and his album "Our Future" came out on Chess records:

Here live on TV  at just 7 years old!

Judge Kenneth Peterson (December 13, 1964 – May 17, 2020), known professionally as Lucky Peterson, was an American musician who played contemporary blues, fusing soul, R&B, gospel and rock and roll. He played guitar and keyboards and drums.

Lucky Peterson - "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" 2010

Lucky was the "son of a Bluesman" and club owner,
who was friends with many Blues greats of the 50s & 60s.

Throughout his long career he would also perform with a range of famous musicians from different backgrounds like BB King, Winton Marsalis or Bill Laswell:

He was an amazing versatile and energetic live performer singer  and on piano, organ and guitar.

I saw him last year on this tour in the packed Jazz Cafe in London!
Man, did Lucky know how to work the crowd including walking through the audience 
while playing his guitar and singing like in this video.

"Is it because I'm Black?"

Looking back over his life in 2014:

Lucky Peterson, sings in his hotel "The Coronavirus Blues" after his European tour was cancelled due to the Coronavirus safety measures that went into effect around Europe (March 2020):


Thursday 7 May 2020

R.I.P. Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk founder member

Florian Schneider, the enigmatic founder member of Kraftwerk died aged 73 a week ago and was buried in a private funeral. Kraftwerk's live performances through the years show their development from Krautrock Hippies to electronic music pioneers!

Kling Klang (from 1972)

This track gave the name to Kraftwerk's own studio in Dusseldorf.

Kraftwerk - Ralf And Florian (Full Album) 1973
Ralf & Florian is the lost Kraftwerk album. Not only is it hard to get hold of as it was never released on CD, something it shares with their first two albums, but it's often overlooked even by hardcore fans. Lacking the harsh, industrial sounds of their earlier efforts, it's still some way off the metronomic proto-synth-pop of their famous works. Instead, 1973's Ralf & Florian is a fascinating collection of experimentations, representing both a bridge between what Kraftwerk had been and what it would become, and also an intriguing direction left tantalisingly only half explored.

There vocal recordings were always conceived in German and then translated into other languages.
There is also a Japanese version of pocket calculator (dentaku), which they performed also in their live appearances in Japan:

Ralf And Florian: the Kraftwerk sitcom
recently discovered in a Dusseldorf car boot sale is this rare pilot
 for the uncommissioned Kraftwerk sitcom, "Ralf and Florian".

Co-founder of the band Kraftwerk, Florian Schneider, had a significant influence on David Bowie, while he was in Berlin recording "Heroes". "V-2 Schneider" is a tribute to him:

The final song that night, as it was so many others, was the bands 1986 hit ‘Musique Non Stop’. Below watch the final moments Florian Schneider shared on stage with Kraftwerk back in 2006:

In 2015 he posted a new track Stop Plastic Pollution  to support the
Parley For The Oceans campaign

Ruhe in Frieden (R.I.P.), Florian!



Far Out



Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany by Uwe Schütte

Saturday 2 May 2020

Tony Allen has finally left his drum stool! R.I.P. Tony!

Tony Allen, the legendary drummer and Afrobeat co-founder, died unexpected aged 79 on 30 April 2020 in his Paris home.
Most widely known as the drummer and musical director in Fela Kuti's band, Africa '70, the pair created Afrobeat together by fusing west African sounds like highlife, and the drum patterns of Yoruba music, with jazz and funk. Kuti, who died in 1997, once commented that "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat".
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Allen didn't learn to play the drums until he was 18, and he would join Africa '70 in 1968. Allen and Kuti  recorded over 30 albums before he left the collective in 1979 over . He went on to collaborate with artists including Jeff Mills and Sébastien Tellier, as well as Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, and Simon Tong, as The Good, the Bad & the Queen.

Fela in performance 1971

Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa 70 - Open & Close (1971)

Tony Allen & The Africa 70 - Progress

No Agreement (from 1977) is easily one of the most danceable songs Allen ever made with Kuti — no small feat, considering their floor-filling prowess. The drummer spars with needling guitar and a darting keyboard during the graceful, kinetic opening. The sparse setting, with no horns and no other percussion, allows dancers to hone in on Allen’s hiccuping bass-drum pattern. His playing here is gleeful and a little reckless — he zooms forward and then pulls up sharply, like a driver speeding toward a red light. 

Tony Allen & The Africa 70 - Jealousy

By the mid 70s, Kuti’s politics of resistance was reaching its peak. Zombie was its most forceful expression, Kuti’s lyrics characterising the violent Nigerian army as mindless zombies. You can feel the force of his frustration through his blistering saxophone as it meanders over the highlife guitar line, while Allen’s snappy, shaker-heavy rhythm is the ever-reliable foundation for Kuti’s social message. The song’s success in Nigeria was not without consequences, leading to a severe beating for Kuti, the torching of his studio and his elderly mother being thrown from a window and killed.

After leaving Africa 70, because of payment dispute with Fela, Allen had what was probably his biggest hit with this beat:

Nine years after Fela’s death in 1997, Allen, then Paris-based, returned to Nigeria to revive the classic Africa ’70 sound. The resulting Lagos No Shaking instantly recalls the humid, perpetual-motion groove-scapes the drummer helped to pioneer with Fela. 
As heard on “Ise Nila,” Allen’s inimitable time sense, at once urgent and consummately laid-back, is fully intact, providing a velvety cushion for a rich melange of horns, guitars, and auxiliary percussion. The track lasts just over five minutes but could easily sprawl out to the jumbo running times favored by Africa ’70 without losing the slightest bit of intrigue.

The Same Blood (From Black Voices 1999)

Crazy Afrobeat (from Home Cooking 2002)

Allen is a cheerfully destabilizing presence on Charlotte Gainsbourg’s 5:55, an often somber album that’s heavy on stately ballads and light on rhythmic oomph. On the title track, Allen shows he can stick to the script, keeping his parts conservative and understated. But “Night-Time Intermission” is a welcome digression, full of spry, nimble playing — a parade-like pattern and the occasionally jarring cymbal splat. In Allen’s presence, even the keyboards become more energetic, and more percussive.

In 2001 Tony collaborated with Tweak on this excellent, but rare album:

Tweak - Leroy 

“Tony Allen … really got me dancing,” Damon Albarn sang on Blur’s 2000 single “Music Is My Radar,” which dedicated its entire third verse to the Afrobeat legend. Seven years later, Albarn would recruit Allen for the Good, the Bad and the Queen, a dub-influenced supergroup featuring the Clash’s Paul Simonon and the Verve’s Simon Tong. For their 2007 self-titled album, Allen plays the role of timekeeper and pacesetter while adding subtle polyrhythmic flourishes. However, on the band’s seven-minute eponymous song and album-closing track, Allen is finally unleashed for a percussive freakout reminiscent of the side-long aural adventures he embarked on with Africa ’70. 

From the 2009 album Information Inspiration

Five years after the Good, the Bad and the Queen, Albarn reconnected with Allen and recruited Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea to form the one-off trio Rocket Juice and the Moon, a collaboration borne out of Albarn’s Africa Express voyages. Their self-titled 2012 LP serves as a vessel for the groovy interplay between Allen and Flea, like on the album highlight “Benko.” “I’m a huge Fela Kuti fan and Tony Allen is one of my favorite drummers, so to get to talk and play with him was just phenomenal,” Flea said of the collaboration. “The way I approach rhythm and groove is very similar to the way he does, and I feel with him a special something that is difficult to put into words but it’s a beautiful thing.” Following Allen’s death, Flea penned a touching tribute to “my hero.”

In 2013 he collaborated with Brazilian group Metá Metá - Alakorô 

In 2014 he collborated with the Chicago Afrobeat Collective

They went on tour and recorded an excellent album together:
Cut the Infection (from What goes Up 2014)

Also in 2014 Tony produced (he played also drums and was the Musical Director) the excellent album "African Woman" by Sierra Leone born singer Sia Tolno.

The year 2014 Allen was particularly busy
as he created his own fantastic album "Film Of Life"
Tony Allen - Go Back (feat. Damon Albarn) 

Tony Allen - Asiko

Around 2015, Allen booked a studio in his adopted hometown of Paris and invited musicians to come jam with him. There was no defined expectation, just a veteran drummer looking for inspiration. Among those who showed up was German minimal Techno record producer and percussionist  Moritz von Oswald and Detroit techno OG Jeff Mills, replete with a Roland TR-909 drum machine and a small synth.

Perhaps the strangest and least well-known of Allen’s collaborations is that with the techno producer Moritz von Oswald, who replaced his longtime drummer Vladislav Delay with Allen for his 2015 album Sounding Line. Allen produces a truly remarkable sound: a warped and manipulated series of electronics. The opening track sees Allen superimpose an Afrobeat shuffle on to a wobbly dub that builds over 10 minutes to create a simmering, electro dancefloor odyssey.

Moritz von Oswald Trio feat. Tony Allen

Since 2016 he was appearing live with  techno wizard Jeff Mills

 Their sessions, which would lead to the mind-expanding Afrofuturist EP Tomorrow Comes the Harvest, were illuminating for both artists. Mills recounted how their conversations over lunch and on break would correlate with how they played together afterwards, and he marveled at Allen’s philosophy behind the function of each drum. Largely formulated for modular live performances, the record has a wonderfully loose, improvisatory feel. 

Wolf Eats Wolf (The Source, 2017)

Allen’s musical inspiration were American jazz drummers like Max Roach and Art Blakey — whose hard-driving pulse powered his storied Jazz Messengers from the Fifties through to his death in 1990. “The first jazz events that I really followed were Blue Note, and that was how I discovered my idol Art Blakey,” Allen said in 2017, the same year he joined up with Blue Note to release A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. This glorious EP features Allen adding his own inimitable sense of groove to the Messengers’ famously soulful tunes. The drummer and his band’s take on pianist Bobby Timmons’ 1958 landmark “Moanin'” shows that the stylistic union — spanning decades and continents — was as natural as hand in glove.

We've Landed (from Rejoice 2020)

Just released on 2 May by Damon Albarn a track from the upcoming Goriallz album as tribute to Tony. Let's give the last words to Tony:

and his drums:

Bye Tony Allen and thanks for the Afrobeat!


Thursday 23 April 2020

Corona virus video collection

Since the spread of the so called Corona virus and the resulting Covid 19 sickness from China around the world a new musical sub genre has emerged and spread via social media and online hosts. I have tried to collect here some of the (in my view) best  examples and I guess this genre will be around for  a while.
It started with the parody of well known songs from the history of Pop music, but longer into quarantine more orginal songs started to appear.

But before we start don't forget: Stay at Home, Wash your Hands and Stay Safe and don't forget to clean your phone screen / keyboard regularly!

And if you had enough of singing "Happy Birthday" while washing hands here are some 20 second alternatives: 

This was the first song I received in February, which start starts also my round up
Fight Coronavirus Song -Wuhan China
Sound of Silence Parody by Alvin Oon

Tom Jones Parody Corona Virus

Some prominent singers adapted their own songs:

Even Ralph McTell has updated his hit "Streets of London" for the coronavirus era: Here

Kaiser chiefs - Oh My God

Of course the Fab 4  song catalague is a popular target for parody:

Yesterday (Lockdown Acapella Version) by The Kiffness

Here Comes The Sun - Camden Voices (self-isolation/virtual choir cover)

Solo Beatles are in demand too:

Imagine (there’s no bog roll)

Can't Get No (Sanitiser) - A Covid-19 Parody [Family]

Some Bee Gees classics 

were also used:

 ABBA as well

Queen songs 

(especially Bohemian Rapsody)  are a very popular choice:

Coronavirus Rhapsody

Here they managed to include Donald Trump in the video:

Quarantine Song (Donald Trump Cover) Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song

Or here Trump vs Talking Heads

Bohemian Virus Rhapsody after Queen COVID-19  by Jennifer Corday

Coronavirus Rhapsody

The Kiffness - Lockdown Rhapsody 

Coronavirus Responders - You Are The Champions

My Corona by Chris Mann

Crappy (Pharrell - Happy 5G Conspiracy Parody)

Coronavirus Rising (CCR Parody) | Mike The Music Snob

Fifty Ways to Catch Corona - Paul Simon Coronavirus Parody (covid-19 Song Remix)

Bob Dylan

Margot Cotten - Stuck Inside Of Paris With The Virus Blues Again

Margot Cotten - I'm Your Virus

Corona (Parody of Lola by The Kinks)

Hello (from the Inside) An Adele Parody by Chris Mann

@Daycare Closed' by Chris Mann (A Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus Parody)

"U CAN'T TOUCH THIS" - COVID 19 Edition 
(Made Entirely With Healthcare Products)

There also original songs with a Corona / Covid 19 topic:

"Stay Home" by Big & Rich 

and there is already a Corona Dance:

Masaka Kids Africana Dancing Let's Fight COVID-19 

It spread to Germany:





Zorman - Corona virus canzion

and of course there is a concerto:

and it spread around the world:

Corona Virus Alert by BOBI WINE & NUBIAN LI (Uganda)

Ndlovu Youth Choir - We've Got This  (South Africa)

 Coronavirus - Cumbia versión Hispanoamérica

So how long will this be going on?

Boris Johnson and the Superspreaders sing
Do They Know It's Covid Time?

I hope you enjoyed my collection of Corona Virus v/ Covid-19 Videos, but please don' t forget to support all this creative people out there in difficult times like this! A lot of performers are running out of dosh, cash, money, as they can't perform live! Most of the the artists have donation links on their YouTube channels and website or just support them through legally downloading & buying their content, merch & recordings!

Brand new is this Omicron variant parody!

As usual I am looking forward to any suggestions and feedback!

Thursday 9 April 2020

Stay Awake, Stay Asleep... R.I.P. Hal Willner!

Just heard a couple of days ago the sad news, that Hal Willner, Music & Tribute concert Producer and Longtime ‘SNL’ Music Supervisor, died at 64 on 7/4/2020. According to a representative of the Hollywood Reporter Willner had symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
As a producer he was responsible for many lauded albums by Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Gavin Friday, Bill Frisell and of course Marianne Faithfull and was pivotal in the career of Jeff Buckley.
Since 1985 he also produced and curated numerous tribute albums for Theolonius Monk, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Nino Rota, Kurt Weill and Walt Disney's Film music with an illustrious cast of musicians from Rock, Pop, Jazz, Americana & Avantgarde background. According to Variety, which first reported news of Willner’s death, he was compiling a T. Rex tribute album at the time of his death. If you want to know more about the man behind all this projects read this extensive Interview with Hal from 2013 here.
Hal live in March 2020:

Gregory Corso with Marianne Faithfull (who has been in hospital with Covid 19 in April 20):
Thoughts Concerning A Sickness

Hal's appreciation of outsiders pirates & rogues resulted in 2 compilations:
Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads

He also appreciated composers like Nino Rota

and  issued even 2 tribute albums to Kurt Weill:

and an eclectic nod to the music for the classic Disney movies:

Jazz Giants:


Bird Up - The Charlie Parker Remix Project:

Charlie Mingus Weird Nightmares (album):

Weird Nightmares(film):

"Whoops, I'm an Indian" from 1998 is his only personal album:

At the time of his death he was working on a tribute album to Marc Bolan. He can be seen in the background in the studio while recording "Cosmic Dancer" the contribution of Nick Cave:
"Cosmic Dancer" is from "Angelheaded Hipster": The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex’
 Tribute Album Out in September, feat. U2 & Elton John, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Joan Jett, Kesha & Many More and it has Sean & Julian Lennon on the same album (Albeit on different tracks)!
(Of course Produced and compiled by the late Hal Willner)


Rolling Stone, Hal Willner

The Guardian, Hal Willner

Stay tuned! In the coming weeks I will update this post with more infos, concerts & tributes!
Don't forget I am always grateful for suggestions & comments!

The extraordinary life and music of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

This post is in reference to the meditative, calming, minimal, but nevertheless very beautiful music of the almost a century old so called &...