World of Jazz Podcast #12 – When Teni met Fela

A  focus on Nigerian  singing sensation Teni and in between music from the godfather of Nigerian music Fela Kuti. You’ll need your jive slippers for this one……

Continuing in the traditions of Fela Kuti, Teni is now carrying the flame for feminine afrobeat. Described as ‘afrosoul’, Teni’s music combines rhythms and melodies born in Africa with influences as wide as the legendary jazz singers Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, to Bob Marley, Kate Bush and Marvin Gaye.

Developing her unique sound in the UK, Teni refined it through her ten years spent living in Nigeria. Tapping into the spirit of Fela’s birthplace, Teni discovered much more inspirational African music and got to perform on occasion with Seun Kuti and Egypt 80’. Elsewhere, whilst in Nigeria, Teni worked as a fashion designer and helped build an ethical design house named the ‘House of Makeda’. Her message of African unity and development is rooted in her first-hand experiences and prestigious education from UCL and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Despite her parents’ advice, Teni launched full-throttle into the making of her debut album. The sensational lead single ‘Afrodisiac’ perfectly showcases Teni’s distinct and developed sound. Opening with cool rhythms and 70’s inspired, funky guitar melodies, Teni’s sultry vocals soon take centre stage. An underpinning of synthesisers and bass guitar helps bring the vocals and catchy horn sections to the foreground. Evoking similarities with 90’s singer Sade and jazz great Sarah Vaughn, the song also hints at James Brown with the funk feel that is present. Certainly, ‘afrosoul’ is a fitting description for Teni’s music.

‘Afrodisiac’ is out February 11th but is available now for download


Tracks played……and listen in here

Teni Lionheart Afrodisiac
Fela Kuti Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am Roforofo Fight
Teni Your Love And The Key Afrodisiac
Fela Kuti & Africa 70 Zombie Zombie
Teni Afrodisiac Afrodisiac
Fela Kuti Gbagada Gbogodo Open and Close
Teni Africa Afrodisiac
Fela Kuti Africa Centre Of The World The Underground Spiritual Game

World of Jazz – 25th November 2011

On this show

  • Ron Carter – Caravan – Ron Carter’s Great Big Band (2011) : the latest album from this bass/cello maestro.  Surprisingly he waited until his mid-70s to produce  the first big-band date as a leader. Exquisite arrangements by conductor Robert M. Freedman give the album a touch of class and the band with of New York’s busiest musicians, including Jerry Dodgion, Steve Wilson, Wayne Escoffery, and Scott Robinson in the woodwind section, brass players Steve Davis, Douglas Purviance, and Greg Gisbert, plus pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Lewis Nash, among others, is exemplary.
  • Miles Davis – Blue in Green – Kind of Blue 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition (2008) : Probably the greatest jazz album of all time if you cross-reference all the polls – Miles at his coolest with amazing piano from Bill Evans.
  • Claudio Riggio Ensemble with Tom Harrell – Pas De Dance – Audrey (2011) : this latest release from the Italian guitarist  features his own compositions, he is supported by excellent musicians who play in different ensembles (duo, trio, quartet, …) and Tom Harrell guest stars.
  • Fela Kuti – Witchcraft! – Fela Fela Fela (1969) – the master of jazz, funk and afrobeat at his potent best.
  • Curtis Fuller – Blue Bossa – Curtis Fuller Meets Roma Jazz (1982) recorded in December 1982 with  Danilo Rea  – piano, Enzo Pietropaoli – bass, and  Roberto Gatto – drums. One of the few players who has made the trombone vital and relevant in jazz.
  • Allesandro Galati – Into the Wind – Unstandards (2010) : Galati studied both classical and jazz, under the tutelage of renowned artist Bruno Tommaso. After playing at numerous clubs and festivals in both Europe and the U.S., Galati began issuing albums on a regular basis, this is a recent example of his work.
  • John Coltrane –  Like Someone in Love – Lush Life (1958) :  one of the best of the flurry of releases ‘Trane made for the Prestige label in the 1950s. Notable for the lack of a keyboard player for the session – Coltrane  leads a  trio of himself  , Earl May -bass, and Art Taylor – drums. The stripped down line-up is perfect for ballads such as the opener “Like Someone in Love.”
  •  Henry Franklin – Plastic Creek Stomp – The Skipper (1973) : Bassist Franklin’s debut as a leader.
  • Avram Fefer –  Feb 13th – Ritual (2009) : Saxophonist Avram Fefer has led a diverse career since his emergence in the early 1990s. He has performed with pianist Bobby Few, The Last Poets, North and West African musicians, numerous acid jazz and trip-hop artists, and  in the big bands of Frank Lacy, Adam Lane, Butch Morris and David Murray. This album finds him reunited with his longstanding trio-mates, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor – the latter of the Chicago Undergrond Duo amongst other bands.
  • Dave Holland – Conference of the Birds – Conference of the Birds (1972) : his debut as a leader, and  one of the all-time avant-garde jazz classics, incorporating a wide variety of ’60s innovations.It includes the  one-time-only team-up of two avant-garde legends:  Sam Rivers and   Anthony Braxton.
  • Bohuslan Big Band with Lars Janssen  – The White Cliff – The Blue Pearl (2010) : the Danish band puts their spin on the writing of Lars Janssen who also contributes to the album.

To listen to the show click on the link below……

World of Jazz – 5th May 2011 – Africa and Australia

On tonights show I thought I was going to dedicate the whole programme to Afro-beat but then I was contacted by Ivan Leuscher about some of the music he has been putting together and when I heard the songs I felt it would make a nice contrast between the hi-tempo african sound and the smoky jazz songs that Ivan has created with Milan’s Mischief. I focused on Fela Kuti and his two sons Fema and Seun but also brought in some other African musicians to liven up the mix. Whether Afro-Beat is strictly a form of jazz is no doubt a moot point in some peoples heads but from my perspective it’s lively and compelling music with a strong political element -which seems appropriate on May 5th in GB where there is a great deal of voting and such like going on.

  1. Fela Kuti – Witchcraft – Fela Fela Fela
  2. Milan’s Mischief – Just A Kiss – direct from Ivan Leuscher
  3. Femi Kuti – Politics in Africa – Africa for Africa
  4. Manu Dibango – African Carnival – Africadelic
  5. Milan’s Mischief – Take Your Chances –  direct from Ivan Leuscher
  6. Dub Collossus – Black Rose (Sidestepper Remix)
  7. Fela Kuti – Swegbe and Pako – The Underground Spiritual Game
  8. Ivan Leuscher – Being with You – Music from the Red Centre (pre-release)
  9. Seun Kuti – African Soldier –  From African with Fury Rise
  10. Milan’s Mischief – The Chapter You Wrote In My Life – direct from Ivan Leuscher
  11. African Jazz Pioneers – Hello Hello There – Sele Banane – Sip and Fly
  12. Miles Davis – Big Fun/Holly-wuud (Third Take) – The Complete On The Corner Sessions
To listen to the show click on the link below