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Shuffering and Shmiling/No Agreement
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Performer Notes
  • 2 LPs on 1 CD: SHUFFERING & SHMILING/NO AGREEMENT.
  • Includes liner notes by Jacqueline Grandchap-Thiam and Michael E. Veal.
  • Digitally remastered by John Perce Ali Bears.
  • Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti specialized in the percolating jam, peppered with idiosyncratic horn stabs and political chants, underpinned with sinuous, interweaving guitar and bass lines, and propelled by Tony Allen's Afrobeat percussion, blending traditional Yoruban rhythms and contemporary James Brown beats. SHUFFERING AND SHMILING is trademark Fela, mixing several lengthy, irresistibly danceable tracks (including "Dog Eat Dog," a collaboration with Art Ensemble of Chicago trumpeter Lester Bowie) with the bandleader's polemics against government injustice and the exploitation of his people by political and racial forces. In the hands of a lesser artist, such political sermonizing would quickly pall; here, it's icing on the cake. Taking the socially aware stance of late-'60s and early-'70s James Brown to its logical musical and political conclusion, Fela's music was both an inspirational rallying cry for his people and a constant thorn in the side of the Nigerian authorities. The latter habitually responded with brutal force, the decades-long war of attrition only ending with the master musician's death from AIDS-related causes in 1997.
Professional Reviews
Down Beat (4/01, p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...His mixture of raw energy and sophistication is as remarkable today as it was when he first put it all on wax..."
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