CD Gentleman/Confusion (CD 6275930),
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  • 1. Confusion (Part 1 & 2)
    2. Gentleman
    3. Fefe Naa Efe
    4. Igbe
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1007

  • Credits
    ProducerFela Ransome Kuti
    EngineerEmmanuel Odenisi

    Recorded in 1973 and 1974. Includes liner notes by Michael E. Veal and Jacqueline Grandchamp-Thiam.
    Personnel: Fela Ransome Kuti (vocals, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, electric piano); Igo Chico (tenor saxophone); Tunde Williams (trumpet).
    Audio Mixer: Emmanuel Odenisi.
    Photographer: Peter Obe.
    Arranger: Fela Ransome Kuti.
    Collecting two of Fela Kuti's finest mid-1970s albums onto one disc, CONFUSION/GENTLEMAN presents the revered Nigerian Afro-pop renegade in the midst of an early career stride. Released in '73, GENTLEMAN consists of the latter three out of this set's four tracks, and is particularly notable since it marks the fiery performer's studio debut on the saxophone. Never one to shy away from challenges, Kuti offers up an impassioned sax solo at the beginning of the extended title song (even though he had just learned to play the instrument) before the rest of the Africa 70 ensemble kicks in to stunning effect. The following track, "Fefe Naa Efe," settles into a buoyant, funk groove, with legendary drummer Tony Allen deftly leading the rhythm section, while the light, jazzy "IGBE" lets Kuti cut loose on keyboards. The sprawling and remarkably dynamic "Confusion (Part 1 & 2)" makes up the remaining part of the compilation, rounding out a Kuti set that finds him making bold social statements (especially in the pointedly harsh lyrics of "Gentlemen") that enhance, but never eclipse, the gloriously vibrant music.

  • Critic Reviews
    Entertainment Weekly (6/2/00, p.79) - "...Features some of Fela's best works....the tracks stretch on and on, combining intricate Afro-funk with outspoken call-and-response vocal passages that sometimes landed him in can't go wrong with this album." - Rating: A
    Down Beat (4/01, p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...His mixture of raw energy and sophistication is as remarkable today as it was when he first put it all on wax..."
    Paste (magazine) (p.66) - "'Confusion' is the most spaced-out music he ever made -- a lollygagging keyboard fantasia..."
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