'A strange, idiosyncratic and thoroughly wonderful album from one
of the great pioneers of African and American music. . . Simply
as a drummer Warren/Ghanaba makes ordinary jazzmen sound pretty
His are fertile rhythms in themselves. They are music, not backing,
not rhythm track, but the starting point for a spiritual and musical
feast, from a man not afraid to be himself. Freedom lovers step
Guy Warren, the Ghanaian drummer also known as Kofi Ghanaba, is
a unique and radical figure in African music. A founding member
of the legendary Tempos highlife band in the 1940s, he was also
the first African drummer to play with jazz musicians in America.
He jammed with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk
and joined Lester Young and the Sarah Vaughan Trio in the Birdland
All-Stars. His solo albums sold in millions in America in the late
1950s and 60s.
By the end of the 1960s, Warren had changed his name to Kofi Ghanaba,
meaning 'son of Ghana'. He embraced Buddhism and began to experiment
with new forms of music. On some tracks the accent is American but
the music is essentially 'African'. As ever, the Divine Drummer
was way ahead of his time.