Babatunde Olatunji – Love Drum Talk (1997) [Reissue 2004]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 67:49 minutes | Digital Booklet | 2,98 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet+ | 1,41 GB
Features Stereo and Quadrophonic Surround Sound | Chesky Records # SACD 275
The Nigerian-born drum master leads an ebullient ensemble of guitarists, singers and percussionists through a series of spirited meditations on the nature of love. Lust, kinship, sensuality, courtship and spirituality are the themes Olatunji uses to fuel his joyous infectious playing. Highlights include “Mother, Give Me Love”, “Don’t Know Why My Love”, “Spell Mónisola” and more.
The drums were a daily backdrop to life in Babatunde Olatunji’s birthplace, the fishing village of Ajido, some forty miles outside Lagos. He arrived in America in 1950 and traveled on a segregated “Jim Crow” train to study at Morehouse College. “I started the whole music thing to protect my sanity,” he explains. Stunned by the ignorance of his fellow students, who assumed all Africans lived among lions in the jungle, Olatunji began inviting them to drum and sing in his rooms and discovered his life’s mission as Africa’s musical ambassador.
Babatunde Olatunji’s words are sung in his tribal language, Yoruba, and the drums that surround him – his ashiko, the big, curvaceous mother drum, the smaller, cylindrical djembe, the djun-djun and the talking drum – transmit the message as eloquently as the lyrics. Each track invokes another face of love and tells stories of Olatunji’s own life. On “Spell Mónisola”, Olatunji sings of his American-born granddaughter going to study at her grandmother’s school in Ibadan, Nigeria, as he articulates the young girl’s name in drumbeats. The travails of romantic love are addressed on “Saré Tete Wa”, yearning as it begs, “Lover, please come running back to me”. Fear of commitment permeates Long Distance Lover, and a parallel anguish fuels the doomed passion of “Don’t Know Why My Love”. Upbeat dance floor lust grooves through “What’s Your Number, Mama?”, in which a dancer’s devious routine to acquire a love object’s phone number vies with his mental calculations of her measurements. A more abstract love, the intimate conspiracy between dancer and drummer, inspires “Bebí Alolo” and “Love Drum Talk”.
01. Saré Tete Wa
02. What’s Your Number, Mama?
03. Love Drum Talk
04. Bebí Alolo
05. Spell Mónisola
06. Don’t Know Why My Love
07. Mother, Give Me Love
08. Long Distance Lover
Produced by David Chesky, Hui Cox & Babatunde Olatunji. Engineered by Bob Katz.
Recorded on June 16-19, 1997 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, New York.
Edited & Mastered by Nicholas Prout.