Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos
Collating the early recordings of an Afrobeat legend - it took years for him to define the sound and approach which defined the man. In the decade before he formed Africa 70 and created the unique hybrid of influences which became Afrobeat, Fela led a popular dance band in Lagos. The story began in London where Fela attended London’s Trinity College and played trumpet with various aggregations. Upon his return to Lagos in 1963, he had dreams of becoming a successful modern jazz musician in the tradition of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and others. Over the course of the rest of the ‘60s, he recorded many singles for local labels, Parlaphone, Phillips and an album for EMI. They evolve from the West African slant on jazz called Highlife to soul to hints of what would become Afrobeat. It’s a startling evolution of a man intent on ultimately finding his own voice and style.