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CL's Favourite Albums - by musicians of colour

Morning all!

A fair number of us have been following @Addick in SW16's excellent threads on our favourite albums. However, @LennyLowrent 's comment on the ethnic makeup of the quarter-finalists really surprised me - and I was even more surprised to see Addick in SW16
respond
that the most votes for an album by a black artist was a mere two - that album being Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. I would have thought that a lot of people might have had an MJ album in there, or possibly Marvin Gaye - but maybe there simply wasn't a "consensus" choice on a great album by black/minority ethnic musicians. I was actually really surprised by myself, in that I only had Kind of Blue as an album by a non-white artist!

So as a complementary exercise to Addick in SW16's excellent work, I thought I'd invite a polling on our favourite albums by non-white musicians. I'll get the ball rolling - same rules - five albums to choose but feel free to make honourable mentions:

1) Kind of Blue - Miles Davis. Widely acclaimed as one of the greatest albums ever, and perhaps the greatest jazz album - representative of its genre. One of my musical bibles.

2) What's Going On - Marvin Gaye. Musically, politically, and socially innovative and pioneering. It's a great album, as it all works together so well.

3) The Guide (Wommat) - Youssou N'Dour. My favourite non-English album. Leaving is such a joyous opening, and the entire album is a beautiful fusion of styles rooted in Senegalese and other African music.

4) A Love Supreme - John Coltrane. I think it's one of the most beautiful expressions of spirituality through music. It's also the name of Britain's leading jazz festival, and the main Sunderland FC fanzine! If there is a piece of music that makes me understand belief in a higher power, it's this.

5) Illmatic - Nas. An absolute banger of an album. It's hugely influential on the East Coast rap style, with Nas introducing a lot of stylistic tropes. His lyricism is immense imo.

Honourable mentions:

6) Robert Glasper - Black Radio. This is great for its celebration of all "black" musical styles. It incorporates hip-hop, funk, jazz, fusion, RnB, and everything else. The featured artist list is also pretty monstrous - Erykah Badu; Lalah Hathaway; Lupe Fiasco; Bilal... it goes on.

7) Boy in da Corner - Dizzee Rascal. The first mainstream grime album, by a young and outlandish Londoner. Influential, plus Fix Up, Look Sharp is a particular tune.

8) Doggystyle - Snoop Dogg. It'd be unfair to include Nas (East Coast) without a West Coast shoutout. This album brought g-funk to the fore and exemplifies Snoop's awesome, lazy, rubato flow. Gin and Juice - big dog tune.

9) The Complete Atomic Basie - Count Basie. The man wanted his big band to have the Three P's: Precision; Power; and Panache. This album exemplifies his big band style. Plus, his lead on The Kid From Red Bank is straight up fire.

10) Voice - Hiromi. She's an absolute monster on the piano, and is so gleeful when she plays. That comes across on this album in my opinion, which is a lovely, virtuosic exploration of emotion through the medium of a jazz trio. There's a beautiful cosmopolitan mix of styles - from the almost Balkan influence on the title track, through to a lovely reworking of the slow movement of Beethoven's Sonata No. 8, Pathetique.

--------------------------------------------

Hope you find something in there to enjoy, and also I'd welcome your recommendations! There's so much that could go up there that I haven't listed, but I'd end up down too much of a rabbit hole. Looking forward to seeing everyone else's choices!
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Comments

  • Can't remember album titles at moment but Tinariwen are brilliant as is Souad Massi.

    The list should also include Louis Armstrong, Taj Mahal, Odetta, Aretha and Nina Simone.

    When I get home I'll get some album titles for these and others.
  • Off the top of my head

    What's Going on - Marvin Gaye

    Catch a Fire - The Wailers

    Marcus Garvey - Burning Spear

    Respect yourself - The Staples singers

    Songs in the key of Life - Stevie Wonder

    So much of the Black music I love is singles based ie motown/stax/Chuck Berry/Little Richard so I would have included Motown Chartbusters vo 1 to 16.

    Also couldn't pick an Al Green album
  • How did I forget Aretha; Stevie; and Burning Spear/reggae in general!

    I'm a muppet.
  • My World by Lee Fields

    Special Night by Lee Fields

    Rejuvenation by The Meters

    Mothership Connection by Parliament

    Funkentelechy vs The Placebo Syndrome by Parliament

    One Nation Under A Groove by Funkadelic

    Survival Of The Fittest by The Headhunters

    Hooked, Hogtied & Collared by Paul Kelly

    What's Going On by Marvin Gaye

    Let's It Get It On by Marvin Gaye

    The Show Must Go On by Sam Dees

    The Payback by James Brown

    Live At The Apollo Vol 2 by James Brown

    Revolution Of The Mind by James Brown

    Legacy Of Love by The Kindred Family Soul

    Curtis by Curtis Mayfield

    Wild And Peaceful by Kool & The Gang

    Live At Filmore West by King Curtis

    Live At The Harlem Square Club by Sam Cooke (with King Curtis' band)

  • PaddyP17 said:

    How did I forget Aretha; Stevie; and Burning Spear/reggae in general!

    I'm a muppet.

    It's all the jazz you listen to mushing up your brain : - )

    Aretha - Lady Soul but again some classics but is it a top five album?
  • hawksmoor said:

    My World by Lee Fields

    Special Night by Lee Fields

    Rejuvenation by The Meters

    Mothership Connection by Parliament

    Funkentelechy vs The Placebo Syndrome by Parliament

    One Nation Under A Groove by Funkadelic

    Survival Of The Fittest by The Headhunters

    Hooked, Hogtied & Collared by Paul Kelly

    What's Going On by Marvin Gaye

    Let's It Get It On by Marvin Gaye

    The Show Must Go On by Sam Dees

    The Payback by James Brown

    Live At The Apollo Vol 2 by James Brown

    Revolution Of The Mind by James Brown

    Legacy Of Love by The Kindred Family Soul

    Curtis by Curtis Mayfield

    Wild And Peaceful by Kool & The Gang

    Live At Filmore West by King Curtis

    Live At The Harlem Square Club by Sam Cooke (with King Curtis' band)

    One Nation Under A Groove by Funkadelic

    Curtis by Curtis Mayfield

    Good ones.

    Hendrix anyone? Again is there a "great" album?
  • Thriller - MJ
    De La Soul Is Dead - De La Soul
    Midnight Marauders - Tribe Called Quest
    Blue Train - John Coltrane
    Song For My Father - Horace Silver

    Bonus album
    Meets Rockers Up Town - King Tubby
  • On - Echobelly
  • I have included a number of live albums on my list, but I think all of them stand up as stand-alone soul and/or funk albums, but especially Revolution Of The Mind by James Brown and especially Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club, which wasn't released until the Eighties, as it was considered too raw and 'black' at the time.
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  • Solo in Soho by Phillip Lynott
    The Phillip Lynott Album
    Straight Outta Compton by NWA
    Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix Experience
    Time's Up by Living Colour
  • Ian Brown - Golden Greats

    Blue - All Rise

    Whitsnake - Ready And Waiting

    Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk

    Pink Floyd - The Wall


    Pink Floyd?
  • PaddyP17 said:

    Ian Brown - Golden Greats

    Blue - All Rise

    Whitsnake - Ready And Waiting

    Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk

    Pink Floyd - The Wall


    Pink Floyd?
    It's a play on colour.
  • Initial thoughts:

    Straight Outta Compton - NWA
    Made in the Manor - Kano
    LiFe - Sage Francis
    All albums by Asian Dub Foundation


  • Big fan of What's Going On.

    I'd add

    Afrocubism - Afrocubism
    Pirates Choice - Orchestra Baobab
    Makorokoto - The Four Brothers (though strictly speaking that's a collection)
    Aman Iman - Tinariwen
    There's a Riot Going On - Sly & the Family Stone
    Run Come Save Me - Roots Manuva
    Raising Hell - Run DMC
    Ali & Toumani - Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate
    Dimanche a Bamako - Amadou & Mariam

    I'd add folks like Louis Armstrong, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters and the folkier end of Paul Robeson but I know their work through individual songs and compilations, not albums and agree with Henry about Motown. Sure I can come up with more as well.

  • Forbidden Fruit - Nina Simone
    Jumpin Jive - Cab Calloway
    Essential Ella - Ella Fitzgerald
    Anthology - Muddy Walters
    Me Myself I - Joan Armatrading
  • Otis Blue

    @rananegra Riot going on is a great call and of course the answer to Marvin's question of "what's going on?"
  • I know it's a compilation, but Marley's Legend album is superb throghout
  • A few personal favourites of mine in no order:

    De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising

    Sixto Rodriguez - Coming from Reality

    Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

    Jimi Hendrix - Basically his entire discography

    Outkast - Stankonia

    Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

    Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere

    Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

    Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom

    A Tribe Called Quest, basically their whole discography, especially the first 3 albums and their last album that came out last year.

    Run The Jewels - RTJ2 + RTJ3

    Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

    If I had decided to put up any album's at all some of the above would've made my list, however I didn't bother putting up any as I knew they'd be swept away by everyone else's choices.
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  • Otis Blue

    @rananegra Riot going on is a great call and of course the answer to Marvin's question of "what's going on?"

    Great album, wish I'd put it. Although, I really like Fresh, too.
  • Public Enemy - it takes a nation of millions to hold us back
    Ice Cube - AmeriKKKas most wanted
    Gangstarr- step in the arena
    London Posse - gangsters chronicle
    Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
    Nas - illmatic
    Raekwon - only built for Cuban links
    Roots manuva - run come save me
    Notorious BIG - ready to die
    The Gza - liquid swords
    Dizee Rascal - boy in da corner
    Roll deep - rules and regulations

    Off the top of my head!


  • iainment said:

    PaddyP17 said:

    Ian Brown - Golden Greats

    Blue - All Rise

    Whitsnake - Ready And Waiting

    Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk

    Pink Floyd - The Wall


    Pink Floyd?
    It's a play on colour.
    Hoisted by my own petard!
  • Prince 1999
    Prince Sign of The Times
    Prince Diamonds and Pearls
    Prince Parade
    Michael Jackson Off The Wall ( still qualified then)
    Soul to Soul Club Classics vol 1
    Bob Marley Live at the Lyceum
  • Not forgetting Prince Purple Rain
  • Don't know where to start, so I won't!
  • Too many to mention to only have five.
  • Addickted said:

    I know it's a compilation, but Marley's Legend album is superb throghout

    Is there anybody in the entire universe that doesn't own a copy of this in one form or another?
  • seth plum said:

    Addickted said:

    I know it's a compilation, but Marley's Legend album is superb throghout

    Is there anybody in the entire universe that doesn't own a copy of this in one form or another?
    Yer
  • CHG said:

    Thriller - MJ
    De La Soul Is Dead - De La Soul
    Midnight Marauders - Tribe Called Quest
    Blue Train - John Coltrane
    Song For My Father - Horace Silver

    Bonus album
    Meets Rockers Up Town - King Tubby

    No white artists in this thread please.
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