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Monday, May 30, 2011

Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Nigeria 70 - Fela's London Scene (Nigeria 1970)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review
African Music Month

[A] J'ehin-J'ehin / Egbe Mi O
[B] Who're You / Buy Africa / Fight to Finish

It is starting to look like this Roddus African music month is starting to look like a Fela extravaganza  as I review yet another awesome Fela LP. Still, why not seeing as I got the Complete Works Boxset last Xmas.
Well, we're starting near the beginning of the Afrobeat era with this, Fela's first proper LP of Afrobbeat after His "Fela Fela Fela/ 69 LA Sessions" Compilation. We are still in shorter song territory here with 5 tracks all under 10 minutes except the slightly more epic "Egbe Mi O" at  just over 13 minutes. The two tracks on side A are a bit more down tempo and atmospheric, if you can apply that word to Felas music with "Egbe Mi O" noodling along with some nice chorus singing from the bevvy of females Fela always had as backing singers. "J'ehin-J'ehin" shuffles along with another slower rhythm and some organ work from Fela until the brass section kicks in and almost launches you out of your seat to boogie to some powerful sounds. Side B kicks off with "Who're You", one of Fela'a early classics with some classic Brass melodies that just so easily become so recognisable and make you want to groove. "Buy Africa" is a similar brilliant track and "Fight to Finish" keeps up the tempo to close out the album on a high note, or a rather lot of them. Felas Brass arrangements just blow me off the planet. An early Fela Classic and rated 4.5/5

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