Art Blakey & the Afro Drum Ensemble’s The African Beat is a landmark jazz percussion album. Released in 1962, the album was one of the first to bring together African music and American jazz together one in one singular musical statement. Art explains in the liner notes, “For one thing, this is the first time I’ve been able to use so many African drummers along with American jazzmen… I’m convinced that these performances show that it is possible to blend African and American rhythms without strain or self-consciousness.” Art also blended multiple African cultures together, assembling a diverse group of musicians with roots from Nigeria, Senegal, Jamaica, and Sudan. Traditional African percussion instruments used on the album include talking drum, conga, bambara drum, corboro drum, log drum, chekere, and thumb piano.
– Phil Cho
Recommended – Full Listen
Tags: Afro / Afro-Cuban / Blue Note / Percussion