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  • Writer's pictureDr Kathleen Rosenblatt

African Music in the 70s




Authentic African music emerged more and more in the 1970s, revealing the true roots of today’s sound. Legendary composer Sun Ra brought decades of musicianship to his Egyptian outer-space, jazz/rock collaborations. Manu Dibango’s bewitching “Soul Makossa,” sung both in English and Cameroon’s Duala language, spread rhythm across Europe and America. I loved Dibango’s saxophone and played the album a lot. Jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders incorporated African rhythms into his unique free jazz and multiple musical modes, going from John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane to R&B. South African singer/activist Miriam Makeba was known as ‘Mama Africa’. She blew us away in concert with her strong voice and strange clicking vocal sounds. The world was connecting north and south through music.


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