El Rego: El Rego [Vinyl 1LP]

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Afrobeat / Funk / Soul
premiera polska:
kontynent: Afryka
kraj: Benin
opakowanie: Singlefoldowe etui
Soul & Funk z Afryki Zachodniej a dokładnie z Beninu, państwa nad Zatoką Gwinejską. Theophile Do Rego (aka El Rego) w latach 60. i 70. wystepując w Senegalu, Nigrze, Burkina Faso i oczywiście Beninie zdobył ogromną popularność. Oczywiście w tych czasach król był jeden, był nim Fela Kuti, który kiedys powiedział "James Brown ukradł moja muzykę". Choć daty obalają tą tezę to jednak eksplozję Soul & Funk w USA w latach 50. i później z powodzeniem można przyrównać do eksplozji w Afryce Soul & Funk, które tutaj zostały nazwane afrobeatem.
W Afryce często afrobeat był także nośnikiem idei wolnościowych, tak też było z El Rego, choć ten wątek nie dominuje w jego twórczości tak jak chociażby w muzyce Fela Kutiego. Do ojczystego Beninu powrócił dopiero po odzyskaniu niepodległości w 1971 roku.
W muzyce Theophile Do Rego zbiegają się tradycyjne rytmy Zachodniej Afryki, afro-latin, afro-funk i charaktrestystyczny dla tego regionu melancholijny blues.
Płytę zachwyca ostrym, wypełniającym każdy centymetr ciała transowym graniem i głębokim męskim głosem lidera w towarzyszeniu kapitalnych chórków. Fascynujący okres afrykańskiej kultury.
autor: Piotr Szukała

Editor's info:
El Rego is a true legend of African Soul Music. Here for the first time on album are 12 of his greatest recordings from the late '60s and early '70s hand-picked by Daptone Records.

20 page hardcover Bookcase CD featuring El Rego's own story of his life and music along with pictures from his personal collection and artwork from his original 45's. The music has been remastered with great care, and the vinyl contains an exclusive BONUS 45' of "Se Na Min", one of his most sought after afro-funk tracks.

Introduction by Frank Gossner:
Meeting El Rego was one of the more special moments I got to experience all through the years I got to spend in West Africa. I will forever remember the afternoons we spent sitting in his backyard and playing his old records on my portable turntable. El Rego hadn't heard most of these tunes in twenty or thirty years and it was amazing to see his reaction and to hear all the memories that swept back onto the surface of his conscience. I also have to thank my friend Landry Boni who helped me conduct several interviews with El Rego which were then edited down to the following liner notes. Dear reader and fellow music lover, let me introduce to you Monsieur Theophile Do Rego: I was born May 3rd, 1938 in Porto Novo, Dahomey (this was how Benin was called back then). I grew up in Senegal in the care of a friend of my father. I wasn't very happy living with this man. I often found comfort listening to songs by Tino Rossi. This reminded me of hearing my father play his records when I was very 34young and hearing his music made me feel closer to home.
It was still in Dakar when as a young teenager I began to play with a band called Le Jazz De Dakar. We were mostly all from Benin and performed publicly for the frst time in around 1955. This means that by now I have been on stage for over 55 years! Back then we didn't have a great many infuences other than traditional music. Only years later were we able to bring together traditional and modern music.
In the late 1950's I lived in Niger and Burkina Faso for a few years. I played with Los Cubanos in Niamey and L'Harmonie Voltaique in Burkina. The latter being the government sponsored National Orchestra. I sang and also played guitar.
Then in 1961, just after Benin had declared its independence, I decided to return to my homeland. I began playing in a band called Jazz Spot at Porto Novo. The leader of the band was Euloge Amegan who was a teacher back then. Later I played in Le Daho Jazz with GG Vickey and various other bands. We changed names a lot and there was plenty of work in all the live clubs and hotel bars around Cotonou.
In 1966, I formed El Rego Et Ses Commandos. Gnansounou Emmanuel played the trumpet, Baboni Oudou was on the saxophone, Paul Hounou on bass, on drums was Adjovi and Oscar De Souza played rhythm guitar. I sang, Roger Koff Euloge played the solo guitar and Paul Alapini was my back-up vocalist.
American Soul was big at the time. We had to satisfy public taste and so I asked Eddy Black Power to come over from Ghana. Honestly, Eddy was a great guy. He performed all the James Brown and Otis Redding songs. At the night clubs he could perform all the songs of our repertoire and he was fantastic. The only record I recorded with him was Feeling You Got which was a cover version of a song by the Super Eagles. They originally came from Gambia but at that time were staying in Ghana where they had a big hit with this song. Eddy had brought the 45' with him and we soon included this song in our live shows. People were 56crazy about it so we decided to record it. The success of this 45' and the new sound that we called The Jerk in turn inspired Poly Rythmo to record Gbeti Madjro which became a huge success for them even outside of Benin.
For our other recordings, I decided to do the vocals myself. Zon Dede and Achuta were my biggest hits, but I also have to point out that I often had some background vocals from my musicians. We have to credit Fela for giving us a taste of Afrobeat. The people loved this style. At the same time, we were also using our own traditional rhythms from Benin played with modern instruments. This was really exciting for us and our audience loved it.
Then came the 1972 revolution and with it a government crackdown on the local nightlife. The government wanted people to work instead of partying late and drinking too much. They forced the clubs to close at eleven, which was normally the time the party just started and when the DJ would start putting records on for everybody to dance to. Of course this was most terrible for us musicians. At the time I owned my own nightclub, "Le Playboy". The 7revolution spoiled all the fun and business slowed down considerably. Nightclubs were raided or closed, bands and club goers were subject to random arrests. This also happened to me. One night I was arrested by the military police. They said they would set me free again if I would write a pro-revolutionary song and of course I agreed. But I only did this once. I wasn't pro-revolutionary. In fact, I was a little bit opposed to it. The revolution was good for my country but restricted my personal freedom.
By that I mean that I wanted to be able to go out whenever I wanted and not being able to do so bothered me and my customers. Back then one didn't try to deliberately deceive the revolutionaries but I couldn't help but make my one pro-revolutionary song "Vive Le Renouveau" a very melancholic blues.

El Rego explains two of his songs in detail:
"DIS-MOI OUI" (Anne Marie)

This is a song about a man who is in love with a girl named Anne Marie. When he sees this beautiful girl in 89the street for the frst time, he shouts out "Bonjour Mademoiselle!" and then approaches her and asks her name.
The young woman says her name is Anne Marie. The young man immediately declares his love and Anne Marie tells him to go see and talk to her family elders. And the young man says: "Rain, snow, whatever the weather, I am going to marry you. I am going to kneel before your parents and ask for your hand. I will beg them to let me have you".
Anne Marie resumes her way and the man is overjoyed while seeing her walk away - the way she walks, the shape of her butt - everything that could appeal to a man, and he is in a state of total bliss.

(from an old tale by the Fon people of Benin)

This is the story of two blind men who at some point in their lives both decide that they have become tired of life's daily routines. They both agree to kill themselves by drowning together. They take a long walk out of the village, which gives them plenty of time to think and when they fnally reach the river, they both pause for a while. One of them can feel a big rock with his cane. He picks up the rock and thinking that this way he might be able trick the other into thinking that he had plunged to his death, he throws the rock into the river which makes a big splash. Being a wise man and with good enough hearing to distinguish the splash of a rock from the sound of a human body jumping into the water, his friend immediately knows what happened. They remain standing there for a while, both thinking. After a while, the friend comes to a conclusion, he also picks up a rock and throws it into the river below. That was it. They greet each other as if they hadn't met in a long time and they agree that it is the challenges in life that make a man stronger and that after all, life is beautiful in spite of all the hassles and pains. They both understand that life experiences forge a man and then walk away from the river and back towards the village.

El Rego Et Ses Commandos Are:
Roger Coffi, Guitar - Paul Alapini, Vocals - Marcelin Kpohonon, Tumba
Théophile Do-Rego A.K.A. El Rego, Vocals And Band President
Christian Agueh, Vocals - Michel Diogo, Saxophone
Oscar De Souza, Guitar - Emmanuel Ganssounou, Trumpet
Paul Hounnou, Bass And Band Leader
Baboni Oudou: Saxophone, Flute.

All Songs By Théophile Do-Rego
A&R: Frank Gossner

1. Feeling You Got 3:45
2. Zon Dede 3:24
3. E Nan Mian Nuku 4:32
4. Djobime 2:34
5. Dis-Moi Oui 3:02
6. Hessa 2:59
7. Kpon Fi La 3:56
8. Do Do Baya 3:30
9. Vive Le Renouveau 4:39
10. Achuta 2:23
11. Cholera 2:49
12. Ke Amon-Gbetchea 3:26

total time - 41:00
wydano: 2011
more info:



Daptone Records
El Rego
El Rego [Vinyl 1LP]
Vinyl 1LP
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