Saturday, June 11, 2016
For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Asonio Ere by Newman Zinck and his Menesougha Dance band of Angalabiri.
I did not know anything about the band when I saw the record, but I recognized Anthony Cockson's face underneath the tattered cover and knew that Angalabiri was a town somewhere in the Ijaw region of Nigeria. Angalabiri is one of a cluster of towns close to the Tarakiri-Ogbesu shrine on the banks of the Forcados river, the deity itself being integral to the culture of the Tarakiri peoples. It turns out King Ebizimor was also from Angalabiri.
I believe the song is a praise song to a woman named Madam Esomo-Ere. On the back cover the song is listed as Late Madam Esomo Ere while on the record the track is listed as Asonio Ere. For me the languid vocals stand out and the way the fuzzy guitar lines complement the flow of the song is flawless. It is a very nice example of the beauty of Izon music and I thought I'd share it.
I hope you like it
Monday, May 23, 2016
For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Ezifinite Special by the band Igwilo Igwilo and the Rainbow off a Foss Sound release from the early 80's.
There was no information on the band, but Aguata is a local government area in the Anambra state and Ezifinite is a town in the district.
The song is simple, but I found it relaxing. The vocals are unhurried and the lead singer creates a nice dialogue as he moves through the song cajoling and singing to the audience. The guitar work and muted horn playing add to the laid back ambiance of the whole song. Not usually my style but this track caught my ear.
I hope you like it.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Okubo Izom Ke Emi by Anthony Cockson off a Julie Records release dated 1988.
John Beadle has written about this artist before, but he did not have a lot of information other than he was an Ijaw musician from Tarakiri in the Bayelsa State who had an oddly poetic voice and a hypnotic bass line.
His name came across my musical radar when I asked Peres Bestman Doupere, the son of the singer Bestman Doupere, who the people were in some pictures I found on the back cover of a King Ebizimor LP.
He identified one as his father and the other one as Antony Cockson. He told me that Ebizimor, his father and Cockson were all from the Angalabiri Community in Sagbama. Both men were backup singers in Ebizimor's band before going off on their own solo careers. It also appears that Cockson had his own record label called Cockson records.
It took me a while to find this LP, but it was worth the wait. The song is a 16 minutes long and the vocals and bass line are complimented by some nice percussion work. John was right about the vocals and the bass line.
There are several points in the song where Cockson just goes off and does some really pretty cool singing. You'll know what I am talking about when you hear it.
I've been listening to this a lot lately and it has peaked my interest in Izon highlife.
I hope you like.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
For the next selection on the highlifeturntable, I have selected the track Anam Ene Uwa by the group Ogbansiegbe Onuora and his Star Brothers International Band off their 1978 release Isi Buka Ani Eric
There was no information on the sleeve or the record about the band or where they were based, but the music is definitely Ibo highlife. The playing is pretty much flawless. What real stands out for me is the vocals and raucous guitar playing. . Its hard to describe what makes it so special, but once you listen to it I think you will know what I mean. For me the vocals are a great example of the depth, warmth and range of sound these singers were capable of. The fluidity and soulfulness cadence of the vocals are accompanied by some screaming guitar riffs. The seller aptly described the music as the Ibo highlife equivalent of musical heroin. I've been listening to it nonstop
See what you think.
Happy Holidays from the Highlife Cave
I'll be posting a Ghanaian track I really like in the next few days.
Friday, July 24, 2015
For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Abraham by O.P.K off a Pan American release O.P.K is back again.
Recorded at Ambassador records in Ghana there is no information on the liner notes about the performers except a note that all tunes were written by O.P.K and F.K. Part of me wants to believe that F.K. is F. Kenya, but I have no way of knowing although the lead vocalist does sound like him.
The medley takes up all of side 1. The vocals are sharp and are carried along by a guitar rhythm has that laid back psychedelic Ghanaian back beat that was the hallmark of all the great Ghanaian bands of the late 70's. I was also grooving on the nice percussion work in the background. I've been playing it alot lately. I hope you like it.
Let me know if you can identify who F.K. and O.P.K.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
For the next selection on the highlife turntable. I have selected the track Ezi Okwu Di Nnua by Osita and his Seven Brothers Band from their 1979 Jicco release Ofu Osisi Adi Eme Ofia.
There was no information on the liner notes about the band, but they sing in Igbo. The rough translation of the song title is truth is the husband/father. The two things that really stood out for me were the vocals and the horn playing. Check out the horn riffs at the beginning, at the 4:30 mark and towards the end. Classic stuff. I hope you like.
Monday, April 27, 2015
For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Odindo Kua Enwe by the Akashiada International Band led by Pat Enebeli off a 1982 release entitled Charity Special.
I do not know much about the Akashiada International Band but the Umu-Akashiada is a sub group of the Ukwauni people in the Ndokwa land. Akashiada records appears to be a label that was active in the early 80's. Pat Enebeli went on to become the lead singer for one of my favorite Ukwauni bands Obiajulu and his Sound Power of Africa.
The Ukwauni song is minimalist in structure and focuses on the thready guitar rhythms supporting the lilting vocals of Pat Enebeli. I really like the way the guitarist bends the notes and the chorus hovers in the background occasionally joining the lead vocalist. I think the simplicity of the song is what I find most attractive. I have been listening to it a lot lately and thought I'd share it to see what you think.
I hope you like it.