The Alma Afrobeat Ensemble (AAbE) was germinated in New Orleans in 2003, grew in Chicago under the influence of the music of Fela Kuti, encompassing the multicultural influences from the founder and mystical wizard of funk, jazz and high-life music. The band became its own self in its last years in Chicago/ Champaign-Urbana, and has now matured in Barcelona during the last four years. The recent history of the band is that its founder, leader and main composer, Aaron Feder, had the idea to combine his band from Chicago with musicians in Europe from all over the world, (South America, Africa, and Europe) under the flag of Afrobeat music, and the principles of social justice through that music.
RARE TRAX is a continued series of promotional samplers given away with the german edition of Rolling Stone magazine since the 1990's and has reached volume 80 already. Each version covers a special topic and presents lesser known songs and/or artists.
One of the many jazzmen who started out playing hard bop but went electric during the fusion era, Joe Sample was, in the late '50s, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders along with trombonist Wayne Henderson, tenor saxman Wilton Felder, and drummer Stix Hooper. The Crusaders' debt to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers wasn't hard to miss – except that the L.A.-based unit had no trumpeter, and became known for its unique tenor/trombone front line. Sample, a hard-swinging player who could handle chordal and modal/scalar improvisation equally well, stuck to the acoustic piano during the Crusaders' early years – but would place greater emphasis on electric keyboards when the band turned to jazz-funk in the early '70s and dropped "Jazz" from its name.