[Dixielandjazz] Highlife

Anton Crouch anton.crouch at optusnet.com.au
Mon Nov 1 16:29:03 PST 2004

Hello all

I'm with Arn on this one. Long before the modern use of "fusion" and its
relationship with jazz, the process was going on all over the world. The
process in West Africa is well documented on gramophone records from at
least as early as 1927.

A Fanti singer, George William Aingo, recorded a large-ish amount of West
African material at Hayes (in England !) from April 1927 and musicologists
see this material as a predecessor of Highlife. Aingo and a vocal chorus
were accompanied by an instrumental group which included guitar(s),
castanets, concertina, kazoo and do-it-youself percussion.

The instrumental line-up, above, shows a Spanish influence. Has it occurred
to people that the Spanish influence on jazz is multi-dimensional?

Trade between West Africa and Spanish north-west Africa pre-dates the slave
trade from West Africa to the Americas and it is likely that the West
Africans slaves brought a music which was already influenced by the Spanish.

All the best

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