Socialist Worker

CD round-up

by Martin Smith
Issue No. 1943

African Spirits: spiritual jazz

African Spirits: spiritual jazz

African Spirits
Various artists
Soul Brother

In 1995 the John Coltrane disciple Pharoah Sanders sang the refrain, “Our roots began in Africa.” He was recreating a form of music that developed in the late 1960s, known as “spiritual jazz”.

This album gives a taste of this by bringing together ten wonderful tracks by artists such as Archie Shepp, African Liberation Arts Ensemble and Carlos Garnett.

It draws its influences from traditional African rhythms, but combines these with jazz sounds. This music is warm, melodic, uplifting, and groove-driven.

This is also music that grew out of the Black Power movement. It is full of the imagery of pride and anti-colonial struggle.

The Corner

What do you get if you cross Common — a key US hip-hop artist who rejects violence and “bling culture” — with Kanye West, the most exciting hip-hop producer in a decade?

You get the brilliant new single “The Corner”. This track will appear on the forthcoming Common album BE.

Kaiser Chiefs

Something very bad happened to pop music in Britain in 1995. Bands were encouraged to drape themselves in the Union Jack and sing the praises of New Labour.

But don’t be fooled by the Kaiser Chiefs’ self proclaimed love of Britpop. Alongside the bouncy anthems, their new album features urban tales of Saturday night violence and drunken exploits.

Tracks like “I Predict a Riot” and “What Did I Ever Give You?” capture Blair’s Britain perfectly and show up Cool Britannia as nothing but an empty promise.

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Sat 19 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1943
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