Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chief Bey and His Royal Household

Artist: Chief Bey and His Royal Household
LP: Congo Percussion
Song: "Asawanda"
[ listen ]

...and speaking of "all places," I found this terrific album full of African percussion at Everybody's Records last summer while I was in Cincinnati. Chief Bey (and His Royal Household) is only credited on the record's actual label for some reason, and not on the LP sleeve, which repeatedly refers to their "TABOO" recording session. That may be due to the fact that everyone evidently "lost themselves" and began "jumping around" during the recording session (see liner notes), or maybe because this same set of songs was also released on an earlier LP called "Taboo," featuring a much more exciting cover. In any case, Chief Bey was born in Yamassee, South Carolina before his family moved him to New York City, where he would become a famed jazz drummer and teacher, working with musicians like Cab Calloway, Miriam Makeba, Pharoah Sanders, and Herbie Mann. Sadly, he died eight years ago, about a week before his 91st birthday. You can read about Chief Bey here and go here to find his obituary in the New York Times.

[ Chief Bey: April 17, 1913 — April 8, 2004 ]

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