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Reissue Of 1960 Debut W/ One Unrel. Track.

Personnel includes: Babatunde Olatunji (vocals, percussion).
Recorded at CBS Studios, New York, New York between August and October 1959. Includes liner notes by Akin Akiwowo, Babatunde Olatunji, Tom Terrell.
This is a multi-channel Super Audio CD playable only on Super Audio CD players.
Personnel includes: Babatunde Olatunji (vocals, percussion).
Recorded at CBS Studios, New York, New York between August and October 1959. Includes liner notes by Akin Akiwowo, Babatunde Olatunji, Tom Terrell.
Adapter: Michael Olatunji.
Liner Note Authors: Akinsola A. Akiwowo; Babatunde Olatunji; Tom Terrell.
Recording information: New York, NY (08/14/1959-02/15/1960).
Having come to the U.S. from his native Nigeria to study medicine, percussionist Babatunde Olatunji eventually became one of the first African music stars in the States. He also soon counted jazz heavyweights like John Coltrane ("Tunji") and Dizzy Gillespie among his admirers (Gillespie had, a decade earlier, also courted many Cuban music stars via his trailblazing Latin jazz recordings). And, in spite of it being viewed by some as a symbol of African chic, Drums of Passion is still a substantial record thanks to Olatunji's complex and raw drumming. Along with a cadre of backup singers and two other percussionists, Olatunji works through eight traditional drum and chorus cuts originally used to celebrate a variety of things in Nigeria: "Akiwowo" and "Shango" are chants to a train conductor and the God of Thunder, respectively, while "Baba Jinde" is a celebration of the dance of flirtation and "Odun De! Odun De!" serves as a New Year's greeting. The choruses do sound a bit overwrought and even too slick at times (partly due to the fact that most of the singers are not African), but thankfully the drumming is never less than engaging. The many curious world music fans who are likely to check this album out should also be sure to look into even better African drumming by native groups like the Drummers of Burundi and the percussion outfits featured on various field recordings. [The 2002 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds the track "Menu Di Ye Jewe (Who Is This?)", which was recorded at one of the 1959 sessions for the album, but was previously unissued in the US.] ~ Stephen Cook
This is an intense tape of multitracked percussion pieces based on the rhythms of West Africa. He plays a host of drums and cowbells with tremendous energy and focus. This one really cooks, as the listener is caught up in the furious polyrhythmic crossfire. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats
Way before King Sunny Ade or Fela & Afrika 70 brought African music to American ears, there was Babatunde Olantunji's DRUMS OF PASSION. Produced by John Hammond and Teo Macero in 1959 for Columbia Records, it has never been out of print. This is quite a feat considering that this music consists strictly of traditional African drumming and accompanying chants. DRUMS OF PASSION is not a "field" recording however. Each of its eight substantial tracks is a spaciously recorded exhibition of crack African musicianship. Still, the mainly dignified tenor of the proceedings isn't quite as wild as the samba-mad BLACK ORPHEUS soundtrack, another 1959 recording that introduced real world rhythms to an intrigued Europe and United States. Still, it remains to this day a perfect introduction to authentic African roots music, a necessary reality check against the exotica of the late '50s.
Way before King Sunny Ade or Fela & Afrika 70 brought African music to American ears, there was Babatunde Olantunji's DRUMS OF PASSION. Produced by John Hammond and Teo Macero in 1959 for Columbia Records, it has never been out of print. This is quite a feat considering that this music consists strictly of traditional African drumming and accompanying chants. DRUMS OF PASSION is not a "field" recording however. Each of its eight substantial tracks is a spaciously recorded exhibitionNAPRA Review (11-12/02, p.58) - "...Full-on drumming, singing, shaking, healing, and praying..."

 
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