Best Horn-Laden Supporting Crew - 2009
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
Just a few years ago, the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra was merely content with being quite possibly the best Afrobeat crew since the heyday of Nigerian deity and genre titan Fela Kuti himself, keeping the flame with sonically and politically incendiary records like Security and 2004's mighty Who Is This America? But lately, they're clearly vying for best band, full stop, and are proving their case with a string of stupendous supporting roles worthy of Philip Seymour Hoffman, lending their blazing horns to Brooklyn art-rock kingpins TV on the Radio, combining with the Roots to back Public Enemy on a live re-enactment of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and, most impressively and fittingly, serving as the house band for Fela!, the phenomenal Fela Kuti bio/musical that just made the leap from Off-Broadway to all the way on it. It's a strange but fitting place for them to end up, but when there are no other heights left to conquer, you might as well take on Billy Elliot.