DOCUMENTARY review: Under African Skies Video (2-part series DVD)

DOCUMENTARY review: Under African Skies Video (2-part series DVD) (This is a description of this BBC documentary. It is available in libraries. However, it has been discontinued by the producer and is no longer for sale.)

A Under African Skies is a five-part series that originally aired on BBC2 in 1989. The documentary observes the direction of music in the various countries of Africa from their origins until the modern era. This video contains the portions that closely examined the musical culture of Zimbabwe and Mali. The first episode looks at the music of Zimbabwe, how musicians there have incorporated Western styles with traditional music to comment on the political changes going on within the nation at a time when the country gained its independence from colonial rule just ten years earlier. The second episode observes the music of Mali and the many artists that have brought “Afro-pop” music to the world’s attention. Musicians like Salif Keita, one of Africa’s most widely known musicians, blend jazz, blues and rock with indigenous styles.

2-part series, 60 minutes each

This two-part documentary from the BBC closely examines the origins of the music indigenous to two African nations, Zimbabwe and Mali, providing great insight for fans of “worldbeat” music.

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