Fela Kuti, Koola Lobitos 64-68 / The ’69 L.A. Sessions

Jess Harvell

By Jess Harvell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Koola Lobitos/The '69 L.A. Sessions

Fela Kuti
Early recordings give a glimpse of gentler Fela

This reissue collects the earliest recordings of Fela's first band, Koola Lobitos, made in London during a period of self-imposed exile during civil war at home, when the lengths of the songs still had the pop chart in mind and Fela had yet to be radicalized or shake off the influence of his jazz past. That came in Los Angeles a few years later, captured on The '69 L.A. Sessions, when exposure to the U.S. black power movement and the hard funk of James Brown opened his eyes to his future direction, even as his music had yet to grow its hair out.