Johnny Copeland - Ngote (Poly Rythmo cover, 1985)


If you follow muzzicaltrips you probably know already the Poly Rythmo funky bomb "Ne te Fache Pas". But could you imagine to find it covered by a jazz-blues american musician? I could not, so it was a real surprise when I discovered this cover version.

The Johnny Copeland Blues Band toured in Africa from Senegal to Zaire in 1982 (as sponsored by US Information Agency), and John came back to Ivory Coast to record this album at JDZ Studio in Abidjan. Tracks were written in New York but the environment and local musicians are conductive to improvise long soli and take the time to play. As the liner notes says : "African-American musicians paying from a common heritage. The blues will never die." The recordings reflect various african influences (and occidental too!). Jimmy Hyacinthe is still playing the guitar maybe 15 years after he begun in Abidjan, and kora is played by Djeli Moussa on one track. The rarity is the Poly Rythmo cover of the crazy "Ne te Fache Pas", which wont outperform the Beninese masters, but does include some interesting aspects.

Johnny Copeland - Ngote :

Johnny Copeland : guitar, vocals
Ken Vangel : piano
Ben Bierman : trumpet
Halial : percussion
Jimmy Hyacinthe : guitar
Emmet King : trombone
Kotti Assalé : alto sax
Jean Claude Kungnon : percussion
Malina : guitar
Bert McGowan : tenor sax
Michale Merritt : bass
Souliman Moamed : percussion
Joel Perry : guitar
Jimmy Wormworth : drums
Produced by Dan Doyle

Try also African musicians playing in the US :