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Baker's Dozen

Panning For Gold: Fimber Bravo's Favourite Music
Zakiya Mckenzie , March 3rd, 2021 10:13

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Zakiya Mckenzie speaks to steel pan legend Fimber Bravo about his favourite music, from Aretha Franklin to Stormzy and Johnny Cash; Sun-Ra, Hot Chip and Miles Davis

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Sun-Ra – A Fireside Chat With Lucifer
I love the energy, theatricality and vibrancy of Sun-Ra. This album has it all, it’s mesmerising. Their sound has a huge richness which combines so many influences yet always seems original. One moment, madness and the next, sheer beauty with ceremonial brass sections that remind me of the Cape Coast High Priests outside Elmina Castle followed by crazy cartoon movie tracks.

In 2010 the Marshall Allen-led Sun Ra Arkestra was scheduled to travel to Iceland on tour, but because of the volcanic eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull, the band stayed in England, adding two extra evenings to their residency at Café Oto in London, both of which sold out within hours. I went and the Arkestra asked someone at Cafe Oto who I was, saying that they knew I was a music man. Divine inspiration or not, they asked me to join them on stage for the show. I didn’t but went back to see the show again and this time they said 'just get a costume and join us for the show with your steel pan'. Having heard their vibe, it felt right, and I knew that we could spark. It was like standing up on a racing rollercoaster, that same adrenalin. It was the highlight of my year, the second half of the show was a real buzz, we were really fired up. To go in without rehearsing, just up there with my steel pan and Sun Ra Arkestra, it was just crazy.