February 2015

BTW-starring Antibalas, Zap Mama, Music Africa, Friendly Rich, Saga, Bella Clava, Invasions, Catl.

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute


A superb double bill Sat.Feb.7 at Koerner Hall offers nothing less than the entire Afrobeat alphabet from A to Z.


A is for Antibalas, a Brooklyn-based afrobeat band equally rooted in Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band and Eddie Palmieri's Harlem River Drive Orchestra. While holding with the standard canon of Afrobeat, it’s inclusive of American musical forms, spontaneous jams and trad drumming styles from Cuba and West Africa.


Antibalas has performed in 35 countries, from Japan to Turkey to Portugal to Australia, and throughout New York City, from Carnegie Hall to Central Park Summerstage to the Rikers Island prison facility.


In the summer of 2008, Antibalas was featured off-Broadway in Fela!, a musical celebrating the life of Fela Kuti. The group arranged and performed the show's score of music originally performed by Kuti. In the fall of 2009, Fela! opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, once again with Antibalas.


In 2011, the band reunited with producer and former Antibalas guitarist Gabriel Roth, to record their fifth full-length album, entitled Antibalas. The album was released on August 7, 2012, the first for their new label, Daptone.

Jimmy Webb Still Within the Sound of His Voice

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Cover Photo Credit: Bob Barry
Submitted by Don Graham

There are certain names in the music business that when mentioned immediately bring to mind an image, a song, a story. The name Jimmy Webb conjures up all of the above. His songs are so much a part of the tapestry of the Americana fabric that ‘By The Time I Get to Phoenix’, ‘Galveston’, ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘MacArthur Park’ are already classics. ‘Up, Up and Away’, ‘Where’s The Playground Susie?’, ‘The Worst That Could Happen’, ‘Didn’t We’ are all up there as well. Jimmy Webb is right up there with the best, the Irving Berlins, Hoagy Carmichaels and Sammy Cahns.

Jimmy Webb was born in Oklahoma, moved to West Texas and ended up in Los Angeles, California where he arranged hymns for his Dad, a Baptist Minister's Church. “I listened to all the hits of the day, Elvis, Buddy and the Everly Brothers. I listened to the writing like Leiber and Stoller, who wrote those  Elvis classics;  Felice and Bouldeaux Bryant who wrote all the the Everly Brothers hits in the 50’s. Having a song recorded by the Everlys would be like having Elvis record one of my songs. And later on they did record a couple of my songs, ‘When Eddie Comes Home’ and ‘She Never Smiles Anymore’.