…as embodied by the music of the great Alhaji K. Frimpong.
How can you not love a name like “Frimpong”?
And the music—Man! the music!
Old-school original Afrobeat, Afro-Funk, Afro-Soul, Afro-R&B–whatever you want to call it, you gotta get you some.
Such great feel-good feels.
Oh, that beat…yes, good TIMES! Once again, you brightened my day. (Sometimes I wonder how these upbeat sounds came out of a place that must have been tough, very tough, to get by in, all those years ago. But then look at what was created here….)
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Yes! That is precisely what comes to mind almost every time I listen to this stuff (and I listen to a fair bit of it). I think it must be something of that Blues mentality. Making the best of the worst. Fela Kuti could make the most amazingly upbeat, danceable music about oppression and suffering (as have so many Jamaican artists, of course).
Do you know Jack Gilbert’s “A Brief For The Defense”?
He speaks to this sentiment brilliantly, I think. The poem is featured at the end of this article:
And also in this essay from Poetry Magazine:
It is one that haunts me. To write of such things with such grace. Almost makes me want to find religion.
No, I don’t know Jack Gilbert, and I’ll read the link(s). I used to see the Sun when I lived in western North Carolina, south of Asheville.
Thank you, once again….you’re right on the mark, it’s the Blues mentality. I read the Sun article, and it’s interesting to learn about his life – it’s always interesting to hear about people’s lives, isn’t it? But not the whole Poetry article…too many piles of things to get through. I love “A Brief For The Defense” and I may print it out, to have around. Wonderful poem, maybe a good antidote to the pervasive, distressing noise of news these days. Also, loved the poem about his Danish interlude, the baby and “Pittsburgh.” Brilliant.