What in the heck am I missing here?

Jordan Zimmerman

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I understand that Tony Allen invented Afro Beat. OK. But, what in the hell is this? What in the wide-world does this have to do with Art Blakey? I feel like the kid in The Emperor Has No Clothes story.

 

Nyama74

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I have a feeling Blakey would love this tribute but Tony Allen is also pushing 80 now. Listen to any Fela Kuti album from the 70's (or check out "The Best of the Black President" compilation) to hear what a monster player he was back in the day.
 

RIDDIM

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I understand that Tony Allen invented Afro Beat. OK. But, what in the hell is this? What in the wide-world does this have to do with Art Blakey? I feel like the kid in The Emperor Has No Clothes story.

- That should be pretty obvious from the set list.
 

JDA

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Art spoke on the subject long time ago.


"In 1948, Blakey traveled to Africa where he learned about polyrhythmic drumming and Islamic culture, taking the name Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, which led to his nickname, “Bu.” But Blakey never cited Africa as the roots of his music. “Since so many of the great jazz musicians are black, they try to connect us to Africa,” he said in the ’84 interview. “But I’m an American black man. We ain’t got no connection to Africa. I imagine some of my people come from Africa, but there are some Irish people in there, too. I’m a human being and it don’t make no difference where I come from. "

"“Jazz is American"

"I’ll take kids from any part of the world; if they want to play jazz, I’ll put them in my band and they’ll play jazz—and really play it, too.”

Spoken like a true Pittsburgher.
You have to read between the lines there. It's about "assuming" things (about people) based on a (their)
'visual'


 
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Jordan Zimmerman

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“But I’m an American black man. We ain’t got no connection to Africa. I imagine some of my people come from Africa, but there are some Irish people in there, too. I’m a human being and it don’t make no difference where I come from. "
<3 <3 <3 Jazz is the black experience in America. The two are inseparable.
 

GeeDeeEmm

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I'm not a jazz guy. Never heard of Tony Allen or Afro Beat. When this clip started, I was puzzled. Is Tony Allen great, or is he the Chauncey Gardner of percussion? Now, a few minutes later, I'm really grooving to it and appreciating what Allen is doing. Man, it just feels . . . organic?

GeeDeeEmm
 

Rock Salad

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Re: "huh?"
Multicultural fusion ie jazz is the black (but not only black,) experience in USA.
Maybe?
 

bongomania

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Anyone can play jazz, and obviously there have been jazz greats of every description. But its origins in -and lasting ties to- the specific experience of Black Americans cannot be denied.
 

dcrigger

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Jazz is American. It's genesis, though, is from American Black culture. I'm a white jazz musician too.
Which I think was the distinction Blakey was making.... recognizing Jazz as a product of American culture... not ignoring it's black heritage, while defining it by it either. At this point, I would venture the same thing applies to Jazz's American aspect as well.... Jazz has become... is bigger than that...

America gave birth to jazz.

But that was 80-100 years ago... jazz has long since grown up, left the nest to become a music of the world. (And sadly, there is no question that many cultures have done a far better job at nurturing and supporting jazz these past 50 years than American cultures.)

Anyway - writing all of this while in no way disagreeing with, as bongomania wrote - "But its origins in -and lasting ties to- the specific experience of Black Americans cannot be denied."
 

JDA

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Jazz is American. It's genesis, though, is from American Black culture. I'm a white jazz musician too.
Actually , if it didn't mix- it being the African element in .. say New Orleans- mixing with- the western Europe- symphonic instruments -say saxophone and the literature notation) coming.. from the mid/south eastern part of the US (say Maryland) - in that -turn of the century----Jazzwould not have happened. It was that blending of European and Africa----that happened on US soil.

There is such a great history documentary done by Manchester Craftsman Guild " Jazz in Pittsburgh" that explains how- take Billy Strayhorn (Pittsburgh) .. A Black musician that studied in schools where classical music was taught........it was that 'synthesis'

The Pittsburgh documentary is called " We Knew What We Had" explains better than any ever
Was available free but since gone to pay only - details the origins - how it happened- in America precisely- it was a confluence- that at the time- could only happen- did only happen- under our (US) mixing & blending - of cultures.

 
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BennyK

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Basketball was invented by Dr James Naismith in Almonte Ontario, 20 minutes from where I'm sitting right now . It is inseparable from the Canadian cultural experience ....

 

bongomania

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Making it sound like there were wind instruments and Beethoven sheet music just organically available to the Black people who just happened to be there coincidentally.

Or they all attended Berklee or something.
 

Rock Salad

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Watching the video, come to find out I had already been listening to it. Man I like his touch! You can just see that the sound is for listening- no need (hearing) protection from the sound. Let it all in.
 

JDA

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Making it sound like there were wind instruments and Beethoven sheet music just organically available to the Black people who just happened to be there coincidentally.

Or they all attended Berklee or something.
Yes there was Exactly. That's what was taught provided in every one of the Public schools --and, at the time of the Billy Strayhorns; many (like Billy) - being taught in the schools- wanted to become a Classical musician-- but that was 'out' 'not in the cards'. So yes without the western classical instruments and training - it - the synthesis- Jazz may not have exactly happened the way it did. In fact if you go back and look it up the first all-black -some type of choir (not religious) began first- in Pittsburgh. It was classical music. way back say in the forties- to this day.

BS.jpg

find the download and get the entire story
 
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5 Style

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I really dig Tony Allen! I have several of his records, ones he made with the great Fela Kuti and a few others that he's on... I've been listening to his music for a long time. I love his groove! I really like his interpretations of the Art Blakey catalog too. I cheked out some tunes on this album online, which I thought were somehow a little restrained.... a bit dry, but the live stuff that I've seen online is great. I dig Allen's groove no matter what he does and this Blakey thing is no exception. I also like the way that these songs are arranged too; the melodies are there but the tempos and the grooves can be so different from the originals that it takes a moment to recognize them...
 

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