Review by Steve Nover
Ahhh, the joy of sax… and trumpet and a hot band on a chilly night in Hudson; Club Helsinki has atmosphere aplenty, but the anticipation of Fela’s son Seun Kuti had the cognoscenti bringing their own auras to help make this the place to be last Saturday night.
Fela has gotten more mainstream exposure recently thanks to the 2008 off-Broadway production that made it to Broadway a year later, winning three Tony Awards, including best choreography by Bill T. Jones, who also directed. Fela the man died in 1997 at 59, but his charisma was overwhelming. I saw him perform twice, but the first time in Amsterdam, Holland in ’83 was one of the top concerts of my life, along with Bob Marley and… but I digress. That concert featured a 20-piece band with five women dancing and five more singing, mostly made up of his 27 wives. But it was Fela on sax, keyboards and vocals that made the concert a transcendent memory.