Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Album Review: Chopteeth Live-Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band

If you've ever been to an afrobeat show, you know what it's like to experience the power of a ten-piece ensemble unleashing their energy as it reverberates throughout the crowd. If you haven't, this album is about as close as you can come to the real thing. Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band is a D.C. area afrofunk ensemble that fuses a variety of Afro-influenced musical styles. Their self-titled debut, released in 2008, made waves in the international music community and introduced themselves to the world. Chopteeth Live, out February 1, 2011 on Grigri Discs, validates Chopteeth as a band not only capable of going into the studio and laying down a world-class album but also able to hit the stage and kick out some dance-floor shaking jams.

Chopteeth Live kicks off with a cover of JJD, a song originally recorded by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The call and response horn arrangements grab your attention from the jump and are immediately followed up with a multi-layered percussion attack. The energy of the horns sets the tone for the rest of the album featuring covers of tunes from several different countries in Africa including Ghana, Senegal, The Congo, and Guinea. As displayed on their debut studio album, Chopteeth is able to pay homage to a variety of African styles while incorporating their own individual style.

While listening to this album will give you an idea of what it's like to be in the audience at a Chopteeth show, experiencing it live is something totally different. If you can't get to D.C., go find an afrobeat band close to where you are. Seeing live afrobeat is like nothing else. In the meantime, however, this album is a great substitute.

Chopteeth - J.J.D. by afrobeatblog

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