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Babatunde Olatunji

Babatunde Olatunji was a virtuoso drummer who became a sensation in the '60s with his albums of traditional Nigerian drumming and chanting. If Olatunji debuted in today's environment, he would be subjected to much tougher scrutiny and evaluation regarding "authenticity" than he received in the '60s. His heralded albums, particularly Drums of Passion, weren't quite the innovative event some claimed. They were fine LPs, but also contained a heavy dose of show business and sanitized playing that would be duly noted today, particuarly in the specialist press. Still, his albums reportedly were very influential on John Coltrane. They were among the few international releases to not just make the charts, but remain on them for years. Olatunji didn't make many albums in his prime. From 1964 until 1967 he had four hit LPs. He'd originally come to America in the early '60s to study medicine. Olatunji formed a band of African expatriates mainly as an exercise and way to help each other avoid being homesick. The ensemble scored a hit record and he became a musician. The popularity of Drums Of Passion and More Drums Of Passion predated the '60s black nationalist movement and Afrocentricity of the '80s and '90s. They also had some impact in jazz circles, though they weren't as significant as the Afro-Latin revolution initiated by Mario Bauza, Machito and Chano Pozo. Olatunji resurfaced in the late '80s on the Blue Heron label with The Beat Of My Drum, a release featuring a 17-piece band that included Carlos Santana and Airto Moreira. He subsequently recorded more sessions for Rykodisc, including a digital remix of "Drums of Passion." In 1997, He recorded and released Love Drum Talk for the Telarc label. In April of 2003, Babatunde Olatunji passed away after a lengthy struggle with diabetes. ~ Ron Wynn and J. Poet, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I don't think much of this ? "bio" ? either.
Whoever wrote it needs to approach Mr. Olatunji`s music from a VASTLY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE! ! ! What part of it needs to be like anything else????? It's unique & beautiful JUST THE WAY IT IS, & so was our dear Baba.
They should stick to the music they know something about.
I remember going up to Baba's studio on 125th Street in the early sixties and being entranced by his presence and his music that resonated deeply in a part of my soul that was just awakening. Here was this hi yella teenager from Queens becoming culturally aware of his Blackness through the likes of people such as Imamu, DuBois, Nina and Olantunji - an era of cange inside and out - thank you Baba!
The people who wrote this are biased and uninformed. Pandora should be ashamed to have this critique associated with Olatungi and his legacy of the incredible healing power of rhythm music. I am the Drum, you are the Drum, we are the Drum. Pandora, please rectify this grave injustice now!!
Baba Olatunji was an astounding musician,& a dear,joyful, k i n d h e a r t e d soul. I will never forget him. His music literally & figuratively saved my life,more than once. He was truly a blessing!
The two who wrote this critique are two knuckleheads . They have no idea of the significance of Olatunji and what he brought to and meant to the Black struggle in the 60's. They most likely were not even born yet.
Baba Olatunji was a great musician who brought people all over the world together through the unity of rhythm, voice and dance. He introduced African culture and inspired people to connect with their roots. He taught me that rhythm is the soul of life, everything you do has a rhythm. It is important to pay attention to your rhythm! The name of his group was Drums of Passion.
cartan108
to get a good view of this great musician and artists life you should read the wikipedia entry for him. The info presented here is oddly wrong in a few particulars. . .
naturally.gi m b y a
The Shango Chant <3
what a nice album!!!
james.glines
the beats take me into daydream land...good thoughts and inspiration
Makes me realize that I was born to play drums. Thank you Lord for this gift!
The bio above is filled has a number of inaccuracies . Baba came to the United States in 1950 to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was interested in becoming a diplomat, he did not come to study medicine. Later after moving to New York City to attend NYU for graduate school he organize a drum and dance ensemble and performed at Radio City Music Hall. His first album entitled Drums of Praise became the name of the ensemble.
Strangely, his name is dropped on Bob Dylan's 2nd album The Freeweelin Bob Dylan.
tomal154
purchased his album in 1958. Finally met him in person At "The Newark Center of Performing Art" A great person and will be missed in the world of percussion.
tafari_sudra
A Great master

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