Nigerian hand drumming virtuoso Babatunde Olatunji, who had moved to New York in 1950, shocked the USA with Drums of Passion (1959), a collection of traditional Nigerian music for percussion and chanting. The first African album to be recorded in stereo, recorded live in the studio, it stayed in the USA charts for two years.
Thirty years later, Mickey Hart helped him codify an original aesthetics of hand drumming on The Invocation (1988) and The Beat (1989), reprised on Love Drum Talk (1997).
In between, Olatunji conceived
Circle Of Drums (Chesky, 2005), recorded in 1993 but not released for
12 years, that contained a showcase of drumming-induced trance, the
21-minute Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations.
He also wrote Jingo.
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