Bitter Funeral Beer Band :: Live in Stockholm, 1984

In anticipation of the second installment in our Guide to ECM Records, we share a live performance by one of our favorites from the catalog. Bitter Funeral Beer Band. Led by percussionist, ethnomusicologist, and frequent Don Cherry collaborator Bengt Benger, the group performs an extended medley of “Darafo / Funeral Dance / Bitter Funeral Beer.” The performance captures the ensemble at the height of their powers as they dive deeper into the Ghanaian folk themes explored on the record with avant free jazz solos, percussion interludes, and a stellar introduction by poet Bengt-Emil Johnsson that immediately sets the tone for the entire show. It’s “world music” at its finest and truly succeeds in creating a sound world without borders. The only thing missing is the eternal one himself, Don Cherry! | p cho

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