Music Is the Weapon of the Future: Fifty Years of African Popular Music

Overview

From the unique voice of Salif Keita and the hard funk of Fela Kuti to the poignant blues of Cesaria Evora and the upbeat swing of South African township jazz, African music has shaken the planet. This book traces its history through 30 portraits. Instead of offering biographical summaries, Tenaille plunges straight to the deepest, most intimate, and most significant aspects of the life and work of each musician. In a compact form, this retrospective imparts all the information essential to understanding these ...

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Overview

From the unique voice of Salif Keita and the hard funk of Fela Kuti to the poignant blues of Cesaria Evora and the upbeat swing of South African township jazz, African music has shaken the planet. This book traces its history through 30 portraits. Instead of offering biographical summaries, Tenaille plunges straight to the deepest, most intimate, and most significant aspects of the life and work of each musician. In a compact form, this retrospective imparts all the information essential to understanding these complex pop stars, while putting them in a political and cultural context and spicing up the mix with generous helpings of anecdote.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Out of the ether arrives this long-overdue, cogent, well-crafted, knowledgeable, and well-structured survey of Afropop and, as a generous and valuable bonus, a survey of the genre's organic relationship to Africa's social and political milieu over the past 50 years. Unlike Western rock, folk, and rap artists, African acts like Salif Keita have had, often at the very cost of their lives and those of their families, a political impact comparable to that of Martin Luther King. Here, Tenaille, a French journalist specializing in world music, profiles in detail 30 significant African musicians, some as familiar as Miriam Makeba and Yousseau N'Dour, others as relatively unknown as Mory Kante and Zao, but all crucially important in defining and defending African music as inherently important, joyous, and free of colonial control. The only shortcomings are the lack of an audio CD of representative artists and photographs of African instruments (e.g., the balafon, the njarka), which would have enhanced our comprehension of the profiles. Ronnie Graham's The World of African Music and World Music: The Rough Guide offer valuable discographical information, but this is the first and only work to treat the relationship between politics and Afropop. Indispensable for all academic and large public libraries. Bill Piekarski, Angelicus Webdesign, Lackawanna, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556524509
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST ENG.
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Tenaille is a journalist specializing in world music and has written for a number of publications and radio programs. His 11 books include biographies of Patrice Lumumba and Touré Kunda and guides to French song and world music.

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Table of Contents

Map of Africa
And Lumumba Was Dancing the Cha-Cha-Cha: Joseph Kabasele and the Rise of the Congolese Crucible 3
E. T. Mensah: The King of Highlife: The Influence of Colonization on Music 11
Miriam Makeba: The "Click-Click Girl": South African Music Between Silence and Exile 19
Bembeya Jazz and the Syliphone Elephant: The Era of National Pride in Guinea 27
Francis Bebey, Pierre Akendengue: The Metropolitans: The Children of Negritude 35
Rakoto Frah: The Wizard Merlin of the Sodina: The Malagasy Musical Entity 43
Thomas Mapfumo and the Ancestors' Mbira in Zimbabwe: National Liberation Music in Southern Africa 51
Franco: "You Go in OK, You Come Out KO": The Second Wave of the Congolese Sound 59
Fela Kuti: "The Man Who Carried Death in His Pouch": The Quest for the Nigerian Afrobeat 67
Mahiathini, "King of the Groaners," and Johnny Clegg, "The White Zulu": The Soweto Stewpot on the Hot Coals of Apartheid 77
Granmoun Lele and Danyel Waro: The Pulse of Reunionese Maloya: The Memory of the Maroons and the Return of Identity 87
Doudou N'Diaye Rose: The Messiaen of the Dakar Medina: Africa and the Return to Rhythm 93
The "Strange Niger Blue" of Mali's Ali Farka Toure: The Roots of the Blues 99
Bi Kidude: "The Little Thing," Soul of the Zanzibar Taarab: East Africa Between Bantu and Arab Colors 105
Toure Kunda and the "Dance of the Leaves": African Immigration and the Vogue for Black Music 113
Salif Keita: The Treason of the Albino: The Contradictions of the Modern Griot 121
M'Pongo Love: The Feminist Who "Tickles" Men: African Diversity's Unspoken Matter 131
Zao: "Mr. Corpse": The Spices of Humorous Music 139
Alpha Blondy: "I Am a Rastafoulosophe, You Know!": The Rooting of Reggae in Africa 147
Mamadou Konte's Little Hat: The Activists of Black Showbiz 157
The Eskista of Mahmoud Ahmed: The Case of Ethio-Jazz 163
Mory Kante: The Electric Griot: The Mutations of the Instrument 173
Papa Wemba: The Elegant Rumba: The Third Congolese Wave 179
Geoffrey Oryema, or the Sorrow of the Great Lakes: What Music After Rwanda? 185
From Kode di Dona to Cesaria Evora: Sodade in A Major: The Music of Cape Verde 191
Anne-Marie Nzie: "The Golden Voice of Cameroon": When "Country" Music Is Invited into World Music 199
Manu "Papa Groove" Dibango: The Pastor and His Flock: From Sidney Bechet to Techno 209
Abidjan - Dakar - Johannesburg: What's All This Gnama-Gnama?: Rap, Zouglou, Kwaito: The New Generation 217
The Youssou N'Dour Connection: The Prototype of the African Artist of the Future? 227
Ray Lema, or the Great World Band: When Music Is Humanism 235
Afterword: The Duty of Memory 241
Musical Areas: Africa in Ethnomusicolor 249
Musical Genres and Styles 259
Glossary of Instruments 267
Selected Discography 277
Selected Bibliography 289
Acknowledgments 295
Index 297
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