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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


Miles Davis - Tutu
That was an album, man. I always have that as a reminder that that was supposed to be Miles Davis' last album. I mean, we heard from the grapevine that he was going to die, that he had been diagnosed with a condition that Western medicine had no answer to, so he was probably going to die. And this album came out, so I made sure I got it. So I used to listen to that a lot. I loved the fact that every tune on that album was just pure original Miles Davis attitude, with a bunch of musicians that were equal to the task. A lot of those guys that played on the album are now leading their own outfits now.

I really love the fact that he had surrounded himself with a crop of new musicians. Young, dynamic, forward-thinking musicians who were really, really at the top of their game and they brought something to the package. Everything on the album was forward-thinking, music ahead of its time, I think. And I really appreciated it then and I still go back to it again. It reminded me that even Miles could play music like this, with a crop of musicians who managed to get it together. During our live performances we sometimes take that line [from the opening title track], that bass solo at the beginning.

I wonder what he would be doing now if he were alive. I was praying that he wouldn't die and thank god that he didn't die, because he went on to live another five years. This was '86 and that is when we heard he was probably going to die soon, but by a complete medical miracle, more or less, he went on to live longer than anticipated. He wrote a book [Miles: The Autobiography] and made some predictions about the future of music and Fela was one. He said: "Watch Fela. Fela is the future of music."

This is moving forward, timeless. You have got to keep abreast of what's out there and try and assimilate, be part of what is out there. This is the kind of music I will have in the background when I am just chilling. Very spatial. Not cluttered. It is like breathing and it allows me to breathe.