Saka Acquaye and his African Ensemble from Ghana

(Explorer Series H-72026).


Saka Acquaye (+2007) was an artist from Ghana who had opportunity to travel to the U.S. during the 40s and 50s, and thus contributed to the modernization process of west african music during the 60s.
The liner notes insist on how modern was this music at the time:
"(...) The new african nations have taken their place among self-governing peoples; that great cultural changes are occurring in these new nations is not surprising. In the "new" music coming out of Africa, the rich spontaneity and color of african life are magnified a hundred times. American have a vested interest in this movement, for their own music - jazz, popular, dance and religious - have drawn heavily upon african sources. Actually the new african music is based solidly on traditional african musical expression, adapting elements from the music of the colonial powers which have governed these people. (...) Saka Acquaye and his African Ensemble furnish a striking example of present-day interaction between cultures. American jazz and popular music have now returned to Africa and are influencing the music that gave birth to them."
The great cover art from Elaine Gongora illustrates this message of modernity co-existing with secular traditions.
Concerning the following track, it has been composed to contrast the music from the Pygmies and from the Watusi (derived from Tutsi, supposed to be the tallest people in Africa).

Saka Acquaye and his african ensemble from Ghana - Congo beat:


Saka Acquai: drums, flute and tenor sax
Garvine Masseaux: vibes and drums
George Brooks: double bass
Edward Cooper: trumpet and mellophone
Wilfred Letman: trumpet
Charles Earland: tenor sax
Walter Miller: guitar
Robert Crowder, Joseph Acquai, Benny Parkes, Sunny Morgan: drums

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