Africa and the Blues by Gerhard Kubik

By Gerhard Kubik

In 1969 Gerhard Kubik chanced to come across a Mozambican hard work migrant, a miner in Transvaal, South Africa, tapping a cipendani, a mouth-resonated musical bow. A similar software was once noticeable within the palms of a white Appalachian musician who claimed it as a part of his personal cultural background. via connections like those Kubik learned that the hyperlink among those far-flung musicians is African-American song, the sound that turned the blues.

Such discoveries display a story of song evolution for Kubik, a cultural anthropologist and ethnomusicologist. touring in Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, and the USA, he spent 40 years within the box accumulating the fabric for Africa and the Blues. during this ebook, Kubik relentlessly strains the distant genealogies of African cultural song via eighteen African countries, particularly within the Western and important Sudanic Belt.

Included is a accomplished map of this cradle of the blues, in addition to 31 photos accrued in his fieldwork. the writer additionally provides transparent musical notations and outlines of either African and African American traditions and practices and calls into query the various assumptions approximately which parts of the blues have been "European" in starting place and approximately which got here from Africa. precise to this ebook is Kubik's perception into the methods present-day African musicians have followed and enlivened the blues with their very own traditions.

With scholarly care yet with an ease for the overall reader, Kubik proposes a completely new idea on blue notes and their origins. Tracing what musical qualities got here from Africa and what mutations and mergers happened within the Americas, he indicates that the African American culture we name the blues is actually a musical phenomenon belonging to the African cultural world.

Gerhard Kubik is a professor within the division of ethnology and African reviews on the college of Mainz, Germany. for the reason that 1983 he has been affiliated with the heart for Social learn of Malawi, Zomba. he's an everlasting member of the guts for Black track examine in Chicago and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of serious Britain and eire, London.

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Soul embodies the complexity and contradiction of southern life: adversity, joy, hardship, determination, and loss. The South is a place where things of great artistic worth seem forever in danger of slipping away, where fine singers like Ruby Johnson burst upon the scene to release a handful of classic records and then just as quickly fade out of sight, never to be heard from again. A desire to comprehend the sadness and mystery behind this evanescence, accompanied by the longing to keep such great voices from disappearing forever, insures that one will always return to the South to grasp an understanding of soul’s true heart.

Crajon’s biggest artists were LaSalle herself, Bill Coday, and the Sequins. ’’ Despite being a Chicago record company, Crajon recorded most of its releases at Willie Mitchell’s Royal Recording Studio in Memphis, which would go on to play an integral role in LaSalle’s career in the ’70s. So I met Bill Jones in 1967, and we got married, 1969. The ‘‘Love Reputation’’ song had kept me working from ’67, when that was recorded, through ’69, when I married Bill. We started accumulating some money together, setting up, trying to get our money together, and decided to go to Memphis and record with Willie Mitchell, whom I had heard so much about through a disc jockey friend of mine, Al Perkins.

So we would work it market by market. You’d just take whatever you could get. And these big conglomerates came up, and they’d say, ‘‘I like your product. I heard this record, I want to buy it. ’’ You got your record, they want to buy. Sometimes they’ll make you a great big offer. ’’ I got bought up by Fantasy Records. Fantasy/Galaxy on Bill Coday. 8 Now I didn’t have that problem with [her own releases on] Westbound ’cause they were a small company. So that’s how I survived, okay? Fantasy/Galaxy didn’t do no more for Coday and the Sequins than I had done.

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