Showmaster Tabu Ley

Listening to vintage Tabu Ley concert recordings makes me want to commemorate the one time we saw him perform. (Think it may have been his only show in Boston and I can’t remember when it was to save my necklace.) Talk about your timeless pros — he had very little English but it didn’t matter a whit: this was a cavalcade of his beautiful voice, inspired improvised dancing and shapely solo shot after shapely solo shot from L’Afrisa International. As thrilling and satisfying with its own flavor and tone as the shows I saw by King Sunny and Fela Kuti. Did this guy know how to get an audience right in his hands? Most dramatic gesture was when — blam! — he silenced the whole band and offered us a simple question:

“Do you love Tabu Ley? Do you love Tabu Ley?”

Everybody in the place had to respond — Oh yeah!

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