New Fela Kuti 3CD Compilation ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul’

Kinitting Factory Records has announced the release of Fela Ransome Kuti and Koola Lobitos’ ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969).’ The 3-CD compilation is scheduled for release April 1, 2016.

‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969)’ contains all the Koola Lobitos recordings with a 12-page booklet, including a full discography and essay by Fela Kuti scholar and author Michael Veal. The significant collection of 39 tracks, recorded live at the Afro-Spot in Lagos, Nigeria, in the mid-1960s demonstrates how Fela used a mix of jazz and high-life to create the early beginnings of what was soon to become his characteristic Afrobeat.

The compilation traces Fela’s musical evolution in the decade before he formed the famous Africa 70 band. In 1958 Fela was sent to London by his parents to study medicine but he decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music.

Upon returning to Lagos in 1963 Fela had aspirations of becoming a successful modern jazz musician and became the leader of Koola Lobitos, a popular dance band. ‘Highlife – Jazz and Afro-Soul (1963-1969)’ follows Fela Kuti’s career, from highlife (a genre considered to be a West African slant on jazz) to soul to the beginnings of Afrobeat.

Also for Record Store Day (April 16, 2016) Knitting Factory will release a limited edition 10” vinyl single of the 1986 recording of “I Go Shout Plenty”, backed with “Frustration”.


Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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