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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/bae85d736d240c0d6233f7be26e8ebd090a05ce6.jpg Fela! Original Broadway Cast Recording

Various Artists

Fela! Original Broadway Cast Recording

Knitting Factory
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
June 8, 2010

This soundtrack to the musical about the late Nigerian political activist and inventor of Afrobeat is a powerful Fela primer. It includes some of Fela Kuti's best-known songs ("I.T.T.," "Zombie"), as well as adapted material (like "Trouble Sleep," sung beautifully from the perspective of his dead mother). The band (Antibalas) reproduces Fela's mix of jazz, funk and Yoruba rhythms, and actor Sahr Ngaujah brings him back to life. Still, there's no substitute for the real thing — for that, start with the 2005 collection The Best of the Black President.

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