Sunday, February 11, 2018
Gentleman IkeChukwu Izuegbu and his Rhythm Masters of Nigeria - Sali Egwu Ye
For the next selection on the highlife truntable, I have selected the track Sali Egwu Ye by Gentleman Ikechukwu Izuegbu and His Rhythm Masters of Nigeria off the Isabros release River Adolfi Ossissa
The lead singer is an interesting guy. I first came across him as the lead singer and composer for the band Mmadu Osa. Called the Spokesman he was said to be the voice of millions. They did several releases on the Izuson label. He also did a series of records with the Rhythm brothers under his real name Ike Izuegu.
While there are some Mmadu Osa songs I could not live without, I have found his LP's with the Rhythm Brothers to be a more complete expression of his music and the beauty and simplicity of his vocals. Chronologically I am not sure if the Rhythm Brothers came before, after or during his time with Mmadu Osa. But there is an authenticity in the way he sings that is captivating at a spiritual level.
I posted one of the best Mmadu Osa tracks on this blog earlier. The other good thing about both groups is they published the full text of their lyrics in their native language on the back cover of their LP's. Immensely useful.
The song showcases his vocals. Starting out with a little guitar riff, his vocals come in and guide the music through the rest of the song as the percussion and sparkling guitar solos play off the soft cadence of his vocal. I find it truly beautiful. Simple yet meaningful.
If anyone wants to take a crack and translating the song into English I'd be glad to send the song. I am not sure what language it is in but the first sentence is Ewo biko Oke nkem, Ikechukwu bia o ebele m mer bia nwam.
I hope you like the music