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Baker's Dozen

A New Dance: Dele Sosimi's Favourite Albums
Richie Troughton , July 29th, 2015 13:19

Following the release of his new album You No Fit Touch Am earlier this year, the Fela and Femi Kuti collaborator, lecturer and exponent of all things Afrobeat gives Richie Troughton a playback of his all-time top 13 LPs

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Erroll Garner - Concert By The Sea
So the next one, I am taking you back in time. For me this just takes me back to the virtuosity of the piano player in the early days, where they could do and undo. 'I'll Remember April'. Do you know this song? It is classic jazz. The way they start it. Now listen…

The energy [of the live performance]. It just takes me back to those days when you could go and watch somebody like Oscar Peterson. Errol Garner was one of the top entertaining piano players, because you would be watching him and [pulls faces]. And there are some live bits of him on YouTube, check Errol Garner live. He is doing all of these kinds of things and you are like: "He ain't even looking! He ain't even looking!" Looking at the time, looking at the audience, and he's like [expressive face pulling] not looking down. It's like two piano players playing, right? The peak of virtuosity.

This is the kind of album that will take away my blues, say, on a Monday morning, challenge my thoughts again. At least once a month on a Monday that is my peace. For example, if I have had a weekend of no gigs, I haven't played, I haven't expended any energy and I need to recharge my thinking on a Monday, I'm like, "Man, I'm playing this all day." I will listen to some Errol Garner to inspire me. I have to listen to something and just recharge my batteries.

In my early days I used to do a lot of listening to him. He used to inspire me to try and raise my game. Not to copy what he is doing. Taking a leaf from his dexterity, his abilities, and then of course, with the age of YouTube I have been able to see live versions of some of these songs. Part of it that I like, as part of entertainment, because sometimes it is not just about dishing out the beautiful melodies and the beautiful arrangements, it is also about the showmanship aspect of things. How you show off, but not actually show off. You touch that little bit extra of your personality, extend your persona into your audience. And I use him a lot as an example to do that. Errol Garner was one of my favourite piano players. He and Earl 'Fatha' Hines, if you check them out, there is a bit of similarity in the trio format: bass, piano and drums.


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