4

The Whole Wide World: Chopteeth's Afro-Funk Big Band

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Chopteeth live at Washington D.C.'s Black Cat

Photo by C.L. Kunst

Chopteeth

Afro-Funk Big Band (Grigri Discs)

www.chopteeth.com

People deal with grief in various ways - some go out and get drunk,while others might take a trip in order to "clear the air" while attempting to deal with the pain. Quite a few might even try therapy, but in the case of Washington, D.C. bassist and labor organizer Robert Fox, making music was the answer he found after losing a close friend in a tragic car accident.

Fox, however, did not start a punk band. Instead, he found inspiration in the Afrobeat sound Fela Kuti made in the '70s - a blend of the era's American funk grooves with African traditional music. This disc is the result, bringing together musicians from places like Nigeria, Romania and the South, arriving at a sound that reflects all these origins.

Photo by Glenda

Take, for instance, "Weigh Your Blessings," a funky tune that talks about the need for world peace but also peace of mind - members of the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars guest on vocals, giving it a gospel-like feel. The Swahili-language "Upendo" has more of a South African feel thanks to a guitar-and-brass arrangement that immediately gets you on your feet.

"Dog Days," a highly upbeat number that waxes against the loss of the simple things of life we once took for granted: privacy, air quality and job security - things that seem to be slipping through our fingers as days go by. Listening to this record gives us the urge to see this band play live - if they're as good on stage as they sound in the studio, they have a brilliant future.

No tours have been announced yet, but it's only a matter of time until Chopteeth hits the road. - Ernest Barteldes

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.