8 April 2010

GINGER JOHNSON & HIS AFRICAN MESSENGERS - AFRICAN PARTY

















Ginger Johnson and his African Messengers for Masquerade UK from 1967.

The last one in this series of latin/afro/percussion posts and it's a monster proto AfroBeat /Highlife session featuring Ginger Johnnson with his African Messengers recorded at Sound Techniques in London in the midst of the swingin' sixties.
"Talking Drum" was the bomb back in the day but its all just as good...
All Killer No Filler!

Born Folorunso Johnson in Lagos, Nigeria, Ginger got his nickname because the hot sun turned his hair red and brought out his freckles. Possibly there is some Celtic blood in him, but he only admits to African and Brazilian heritage. Leaving home during World War II, Ginger became a sailor and his roaming took him to most jazz clubs of note in the world. Finally he came to England, and during the 1950's played with such names as Paul Adam, Harry Parry and Edmundo Ros. Forming his own Afro-Cuban band was the next step , and so the African Messengers were born. " All the music that we do is based firmly on African traditions," Ginger says. "So is rhythm and blues - but we try to get nearer the source, right down to the grass roots of the jungle - the sun, the heat, the insects, the abundance of life. And we overlay the whole with jazz - saxophone, guitar, brass, flute, and sometimes piano - because jazz is also derived from the old sources of Africa." Part of the compulsive beat is supplied by the 'talking drum' once used in the famous 'bush telegraph' system. The equivalent of the bass in Ginger's band - although he also uses an electric bass guitar - is the 'bush piano' a box-like instrument of wood fitted with thin metal tongues, which when flicked with the thumb, vibrate and give off thrumming bass notes. But Ginger's favourite instruments are his elephants feet. The elephant was killed by hunters in South Africa more than 100 years ago. The feet were hollowed out and covered with skin to form drums, and Ginger has played them for many years. They are prominent on several of his most famous songs.
Excerpts from sleeve notes by Frank Smyth, taken from the album Ginger And His African Messengers African Party.

17 comments:

Bacoso said...

http://rapidshare.com/files/372349499/Johnson.rar

Jazzjet said...

Wow, lovely stuff. Thanks, Bacoso.

iconograf said...

today i say it :
thank you for all the good sounds you share ! thanks a lot.

icastico said...

(^_^)

the jazzstronaut said...

Great stuff Bacoso, what a heck of a collection you must have. Thank you for sharing this super LP.

Simon666 said...

love it, thanks bacoso :)

Infektosoul said...

nice dude...tnx

taro nombei said...

I'm all over this Bacoso. Thanks so much and all best from over here.

PS:
just noticed I'm on your blog roll... most honoured!

swamielmo said...

thanks bacoso. again and again althogh it's been a while.

FlimFlam said...

powerful stuff - loving this big thanks

jepo said...

Excelente album. Muchas gracias.

flux_is_krux said...

Thanks for a great rip of this really amazing afro jazz album!

buzzbabyjesus said...

sucker rocks

GLH03 said...

Ginger Johnson is my Grandad, great talent.

GLH03 said...

Ginger Johnson is my Grandad, he was very talented, as were the other members of the group.

John said...

I remember seeing Ginger Johnson and his African Drummers upstairs in a pub in Hampstead, London, in about 1970. A good show but with a small audience. I can't remember the name of the pub but it had a boxing gym at the time, and some punchy boxers in the bar.
This is the first time I've found out anything about him; thank you.

dennis johnson said...

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