Category Archives: Afrobeat

CULT CLASSIC: AMBIANCE-INTO A NEW JOURNEY.

Cult Classic: Ambiance-Into A New Journey. During the seven year period between 1979 and 1986, Ambiance led by Nigerian born multi-instrumentalist Daoud Abubakar Balewa released six albums on the LA-based private press label Da Mon Records. It was a self-financed business that released short runs of Ambiance’s albums during a time when many smaller independent …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 13: NOW! PART TWO.

Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part Two. Label: Jazzman Records. Format: CD. Nowadays, there aren’t many compilation series’ that are still going strong after thirteen years and thirteen volumes. However, Jazzman Records’ critically acclaimed compilation and commercially successful Spiritual Jazz seems to be going from strength-to-strength. Recently, the label released Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part One and Two which are …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ 13: NOW! PART ONE.

Spiritual Jazz 13: Now! Part One. Label: Jazzman Records. Format: CD. Little did anyone at Jazzman Records know when they released Spiritual Jazz (Esoteric, Modal and Deep Jazz From The Underground 1968-77) in 2008, that this was the first instalment in what would become their longest-running and most successful compilation series. Over the next thirteen …

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CULT CLASSICS: TABANSI STUDIO BAND-WAKAR ALHAZI KANO AND MUS’EN SOFOA.

Cult Classics: Tabansi Studio Band–Wakar Alhazai Kano and Mus’en Sofoa. Philadelphia International Records’ house band was MFSB, while Motown the Funk Brothers and Fame Records had the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section between 1961 and 1969. These three house bands played an important part in each label’s sound and success. That was also the case with  the …

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CULT CLASSIC: ZACH AND GEEBAH-FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY.

Cult Classic: Zack and Geebah– For The Love Of Money. Tabansi Records was founded in Nigeria in 1950, and filled a void when major labels like Decca and then  Philips closed the doors on their Nigerian operations. Chief (Dr) G.A.D. Tabansi who lent his name to what would become Nigeria’s most important label, recorded artists …

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THE BRIEF RECORDING CAREER OF AMARA TOURE: 1973-1980.

The Brief Recording Career Of Amara Touré: 1973-1980.  Amara Touré’s recording career spanned just seven years and saw him record just ten tracks. His recording career began in 1973 and was over by 1980. By then, he had recorded three singles and the four tracks that featured his 1980 album Accompagné Par L’Orchestre Massako. These ten tracks comprise Amara Touré’s discography. …

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CULT CLASSIC KABASA-AFRICAN SUNSET.

Cult Classic: Kabasa-African Sunset. Kabasa was formed in Soweto by vocalist and bassist Tata “TNT” Sibeko and percussionist Oupa Segwa and guitarist Robert “Doc” Mthalane who previously, had been members of the iconic Afro-rock band Harari. The group had started life as The Beaters, but during a tour of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1976, changed their name …

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CULT CLASSICS: SIDIKU BUARI-FEELINGS AND SIDIKU BUARI AND HIS JAM BUSTERS.

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 …

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WHO WAS WILLIAM ONYEAEBOR?

Who Was William Onyeabor? Enigmatic. That was the perfect word to describe synth funk pioneer, William Onyeabor who died on January 16th 2017 aged just seventy. That day, Nigerian music lost a musical pioneer. However, he was also one of the most mysterious, elusive and enigmatic musicians in musical history and much of his life was shrouded in …

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CULT CLASSIC FOUND: EBO TAYLOR-PALAVER.

Cult Classic Found: Ebo Taylor-Palaver. In the history of Ghanian music one man looms large, Ebo Taylor. He’s a colossus of Ghanian music who deserves to be described as an innovator and  as someone who went on to influence future generations of Ghanian musicians. Nearly forty years later, and Ebo Taylor’s influence is still being …

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AMBIANCE-INTO A NEW JOURNEY.

Ambiance-Into A New Journey. Label: BBE MUSIC. Format: CD. Release Date: ‘19th’ September 2020.  During the seven year period between 1979 and 1986, Ambiance led by Nigerian born multi-instrumentalist Daoud Abubakar Balewa released six albums on the LA-based private press label Da Mon Records. It was a self-financed business that released short runs of Ambiance’s …

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CULT CLASSIC: NKONO TELES-PARTY BEATS.

Cult Classic: Nkono Teles–Party Beats. During Tabansi Records’ long and illustrious history, few people made the same impact as Nkono Teles, who was born in  Cameroun, but grew up in Nigeria. That was where in 1952, Chief Tabansi founded the label he lent his name to, Tabansi Records. Three decades later, groundbreaking composer, engineer,  multi-instrumentalist …

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CULT CLASSIC: EJI OYEWOLE-CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.

Cult Classic: Eji Oyewole-Charity Begins At Home. During the sixties and seventies, the Nigerian music scene was thriving and new bands were  being formed on a  daily basis. Similarly, many new artists were making an impression on Nigerian music during this period. This included  flautist, saxophonist and future bandleader Eji Oyewole. He was born in Ibadan, the city …

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CULT CLASIC: SUPER ELCADOS-TOGETHER IS ALWAYS A GOOD VENTURE-TAMBOURINE PARTY VOLUME 2.

Cult Classic: Super Elcados–Togetherness Is Always A Good Venture-Tambourine Party Volume 2. During the early sixties, a  musical revolution took place in Ghana, when musicians started combining elements of West African musical genres including highlife and fuji music which they fused with American funk and jazz. Playing an important part important part in this new …

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IDRIS ACKAMOOR AND THE PYRAMIDS- SHAMAN!

Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids-Shaman! Label: Strut. Nowadays, not many groups are still together after forty-seven years. Many groups call time on their career after three or four albums citing “artistic differences” but are keen to reassure their fans that they’re “still friends” and that the band had “run its course.” This has happened to some of …

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CULT CLASSIC: SIDIKU BUARI-DISCO SOCCER.

Cult Classic: Sidiku Buari-Disco Soccer. There are very few people who manage to forge a career in both 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, Sidiku …

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SOUL LOVE NOW: THE BLACK FIRE RECORDS STORY, 1975-1993.

Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story, 1975-1993. Label: Strut Records. Format: CD. Many people who love music dream of owning and running their own record company. However, not everyone who decides to found a record company is qualified or suited to do so. They don’t have the skillset or experience that’s required and instead …

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CULT CLASSIC: SHINA WILLIAMS AND HIS AFRICAN PERCUSSIONISTS-AFRICAN DANCES.

Cult Classic: Shina Willians and His African Percussionists-African Dances. By 1979, Afrobeat had grown in popularity in Nigeria, and was influencing and inspiring a number of Western musicians including the legendary vibes  player Roy Ayers. He was just one of many musicians who had started to incorporate elements of Afrobeat into his unique and inimitable …

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GREG FOAT-SYMPHOMIE PACIFIQUE.

Greg Foat-Symphonie Pacifique. Label: Strut Release Date: ‘3rd’ July 2020. Prolific and versatile are words that describe London-based Greg Foat, who nowadays, is regarded as one of Britain’s top jazz pianists and composers.  His career began back in the noughties, and in 2009, he founded The Greg Foat Group who went on to release five …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE BLACK HIPPIES-THE BLACK HIPPIES.

Cult Classic: The Black Hippies-The Black Hippies. One of Nigerian music’s best kept secrets, are The Black Hippies who only ever released two albums. Their finest moment was their 1977 eponymous which was released in 1977, on EMI. Sadly, by then, disco and funk were flavour of the month and The Black Hippies were a year too late releasing their …

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