Throwback Thursday: Ginger Baker, Jonas Hellborg, & Jens Johansson @ SOBs – December 15, 1991

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein shares with us about our December 1991 show with Ginger Baker, Jonas Hellborg, and Jens Johansson at SOBs. What do you remember about this night? Any crazy Ginger Baker stories of your own?

Jonas Hellborg is a very talented Swedish bass guitar player who came to prominence in the early 80s. At that time, he was the bassist in the reformed Mahavishnu led by guitar player John McLaughlin. He settled in New York, and I was a big fan of him.

I believe the initial connection came in the form of a call where he called to say he wanted to work with us, which was a big surprise and a thrill for me, me being a fan. I think he noticed the work we were doing at Giant Step with the club and had heard about us from others. Around then, he was working with producer and bass player Bill Laswell who had the Axiom label on Island Records. Laswell would produce records with people like Bootsy Collins, Bernie Morell, Ginger Baker, etc.

Jonas decided that he wanted to do a show with Ginger Baker and Jens Johansson, who was the keyboard player in Yngwie Malmsteen’s band.

I was super excited about working with Ginger Baker who is a music legend; he was the drummer in Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, and was the drummer in Blind Faith. Ginger was also famous for his albums with Fela Kuti in the 1970s, and a notorious drug addict as well. He didn’t appear very often.

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New Release: ‘Red Hot + Fela’ + Felabration @ Brooklyn Bowl – Oct 17

 

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AIDS awareness organization Red Hot today releases Red Hot + Fela, a Fela Kuti themed compilation featuring remakes and covers alike with collaborations spanning the genres of electronic, hip-hop, soul, rock, and classical.

Participants include tUnE-yArDs, Questlove, Angelique Kidjo, Nneka, Sinkane, Amayo, M1, Baloji, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, as well as Kyp Malone and Tunde Adembimpe of TV On The Radios, amongst many others. It is indeed very serious out here in these streets.

For a taste of the music, head over to Soundcloud for a free download of “Buy Africa” by Baloji & L’Orchestre De La Katuba ft. Kuku.

This Friday, October 11, don’t miss what’s sure to be a mind-bending performance by My Morning Jacket, Merril Garbus, Brittany Howard and Antibalas Horns on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

New Yorkers can look forward to a Felabration at Brooklyn Bowl on October 17peep the flyer after the jump! Also, don’t sleep on all the other Felabrations happening throughout October and November as well.

Enter our contest to win Red Hot + Fela.

Purchase Red Hot + Fela on iTunes | Amazon

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felabration

‘Red Hot + Fela’ to Drop in October

 

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Out on October 8, Red Hot + Fela pays tribute to the great Fela Kuti via some incredible covers. Including work from tUnE-yArDs, Questlove, Angelique Kidjo, Nneka, King, Sinkane, and others, listeners can prepare for a colorful aural feast. You can hear “Buy Africa” by Baloji below!

Listen to “Buy Africa” on Soundcloud.

Hiatus Kaiyote Rocks Sold Out NYC Debut

 

For a band that formed in 2011 and released their first album less than a year ago, Hiatus Kaiyote has enjoyed a whirlwind of accomplishments in a remarkably short period of time: a backstage serenade of their own song “Nakamarra” by Erykah Badu at SXSW; a long and forceful reiteration of support from ?uestlove at his party at Brooklyn Bowl; a sold-out show at their debut performance in New York City.

Hiatus Kaiyote, comprised of Nai Palm, Simon Mavin, Perrin Moss and Paul Bender, is also a perfect example of the limited utility of the “genre” in characterizing an album’s sound or capturing its integrity. But nonetheless, the sources of inspiration for their music are unmistakable. “Atari” takes cues from Flying Lotus’s fractal spidering of digital sounds. The keyboard section on “Jekyll” draws inspiration from Fela Kuti and afrobeat. The woozy space sounds of “Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” are reminiscent of Erykah Badu’s latest album, New Amerykah Part 2. And Nai Palm herself sounds like a blend of Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse.

Their inaugural performance at LPR was also remarkable for the depth and loyalty of the fan base they’ve already amassed. Here’s what some fans had to say of last night’s show:

Naikhoba Munabi: “The power of the performance was in the immersive experience. It felt like performance art. Each song individually carries its own weight, but the concert felt like a complete feast as opposed to just one ingredient or one meal. Also, sonically, their tones are extremely well refined so that no one artist is the star of the band. All four of them complimented each other so well and fit together seamlessly. When you listen to their music, it consumes you; I felt like I was a part of it.”

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New Release: Fela Kuti – ‘Vinyl Box Set 2′ (Curated by Ginger Baker) + Contest

 

October has been pretty rad as far as Fela Kuti related celebrations are concerned. October 9 saw the release of Vinyl Box Set 2 (which we are giving away!), curated by Ginger Baker, friend and collaborator of Fela. Also, October 15 was Fela’s birthday, which spurred October long Felabrations all around the world.

This particular box set includes long awaited vinyl reissues from Fela’s catalog, including album artwork recreated from “original album artwork along with vintage vinyl label artwork.” The box set also comes with a 12-page color booklet filled with album descriptions by renowned British music journalist Chris May as well as an essay by Ginger Baker. As an additional bonus, box set owners will be treated to a poster by H. Cuadrado.

The box includes the following albums:
- Live with Ginger Baker (1971)
- Roforofo Fight (1972)
- Confusion (1974)
- Alagbon Close (1974)
- He Miss Road (1975)
- Na Poi (1976)

Enter our contest to win Vinyl Box Set 2.

Purchase Vinyl Box Set 2 on Amazon

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