Chicago Reader: “The Reader’s Guide to World Music Festival”

September 18, 2003

This article originally appeared in the Chicago Reader.

This recently formed local nine-piece is dedicated to advancing Afrobeat, the funky music developed and popularized by Nigerian legend Fela Kuti. In its tightly wound grooves the group displays a strong jazz sensibility a la electric Miles Davis and just the right amount of restraint: the horns sit out while the percussion percolates beneath extended electric-piano solos, and things are left to simmer for a while en route to the frenzied climaxes. What’s missing from the classic Afrobeat recipe is vocals: call-and-response chanting worked well for Fela, and a bit of it here would help this band take it to the next level.

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