Fela Kuti The Best Best of Fela Kuti (Universal) Any attempt to encapsulate the genius of Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti is problematic. However, this shimmering set of 13 career highlights goes as close as anything yet to representing one of the most remarkable figures of 20th-century music. Where do you start with an artist who produced 77 albums, had 27 wives, made more than 200 court appearances and was periodically harassed, beaten, tortured and jailed for his razor-sharp observations of the military regime? Fela died six years ago this week, aged 58, from an Aids-related heart failure, but releases like this are exposing a whole new generation to the man and his music. Focus of this 2000 set is justly on his output with the Africa 70 - Open & Close, Gentleman, Confusion, Shakara, Zombie and ITT (International Thief Thief) among them - and features more than 150 minutes of blistering jams. Many have had to be pared down to around 10 minutes as some of his albums were single-track workouts, and live versions often broke the hour mark, especially under phenomenal founding drummer Tony Allen. The power and sheer musicality, however, is undiminished. Fela was a devout believer in entertainment as education and his best works never strayed far from the dance floor. As the originator of Afrobeat - a propulsive blend of highlife, jazz, rock and funk - he redefined the protest song. The exuberant horn section and wailing guitar choruses overlaid with his pidgin rants on the endemically corrupt post-colonial sociopolitical landscape, creeping westernisation and myriad other injustices combine to make the ultimate right-on party music. No appraisal of his artistic contribution would be complete without some context and thankfully there are extensive liner notes for each track. Few have suffered for their art as profoundly as Fela: Zombie, for instance, laments the mindless cruelty of government troops who stormed the family compound in 1977 and threw his 82-year-old mother from an upstairs window. She later died from injuries sustained in the fall. If you buy just one Fela Kuti album, this is the one to have.