Cult Classics: Sidiku Buari-Feelings and Sidiku Buari His Jam Busters.

There aren’t many people who forge a career in sport and music, but Ghanian-born Sidiku Buari managed to do just this. He was a silver medallist in the 400 metres at the 1963 All-Africa Games held in Dakar, Senegal. Two years later, in 1965, he was a member of the 4×400 relay team and the All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, the Republic Of Congo, and won a bronze medal. However, while Sidiku Buari was a talented and successful athlete he enjoyed more success as a musician.

Sidiku Buari was a prolific artist, arranger, composer and producer who released in excess of twenty-five albums. This includes two extremely rare albums , Feelings and Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters on the short-lived and extremely collectable label Precious Records. These rarities are now regarded as cult classics and are a reminder of Sidiku Buari who led a remarkable life.

After his second appearance at the All-African Games, Sidiku Buari emigrated to America in 1966, and studied music at the New York School of Music. After that, he studied interior design at the La Sale University in Chicago, Illinois. By then, his musical career was underway, but his love of sport saw him playing baseball  to a reasonable standard during his three decade stay in the United States.

In 1983, Sidiku Buari’s recorded Feelings which was the first of the two albums he released on Precious Records. The followup Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters, was released in 1984, and featured a similar sound to Feelings. By then, Sidiku Buari had turned his back on the highlife and Afrodisco he made a name recording.

This was replaced by on Feelings and Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters by Afroboogie, electrofunk and Accra funk. On both albums,  Sidiku Buari deploys electronic drums and synths that provide a backdrop for his impassioned vocals that deliver lyrics full of socially conscious lyrics delivered in his native tongue. All this is a potent and powerful combination. The  music is hook-laden, anthemic, dancefloor friendly and memorable.

Among the highlights of Feelings are Music and Anokwar (Truth) which bookend the album. Both feature squelchy synths on what are dancefloor friendly tracks that have stood the test of time. Then Let’s Go Funky Town opens Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters before a slap bass powers along Minsumobo.  Karambani is peerless example of dub disco, while Power To My People features poweful socially conscious lyrics featuring a heartfelt vocal. Closing Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters is the truly memorable Rhythm Of Africa, where a flute plays a starring role on what’s one of the album’s highlights.

Feelings and Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters are careful crafted albums that combined disparate musical genres as the Ghanian master musician headed in a different direction. He combined elements of African and Western music to create albums that for way too long were oft-overlooked hidden gems.

Sadly, neither Feelings nor Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters sold well when they were released. It was only much later that DJs and record collectors discovered by DJs and record collectors. However, both albums are rarities started to change hands for increasingly large sums.  Belatedly it seemed that justice was being done and these two oft-overlooked albums were belatedly starting to find the audience they deserved. They were just two of over twenty-five albums that Sidiku Buari released during his career.

He started off as an athlete, and became a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and arranger as well as an award-winning music video producer  and later in life, the president of Ghana’s Musicians’ Union and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Pan- African Society. He’s a truly a remarkable man who was a prolific musician and Feelings and Sidiku Buari and His Jam Busters are both cult classics and among the finest albums he recorded during his long, varied, eventful and successful career that saw him effortlessly make the move from athlete to musician.  

Cult Classics: Sidiku Buari-Feelings and Sidiku Buari His Jam Busters.


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