Sunday, September 21, 2008

Babatunde Olatunji - Soul Makossa

Olatunji - Soul Makossa (Paramount PA 6061)
Marvin Stamm (tp)
Eddie Bert (tb)
Joe Henderson (ts)
Reggie Lucas (el-g)
Gordon Edwards (el-b)
Ronnie Lito (d)
Bernard Barber, Eric Bruce, Michael "Babatunde" Olatunji, Kehinde Stewart (African d)
Michael "Babatunde" Olatunji (African d, vo)
Stacy Edwards (cowbell)
Brett Brown, Charles Payne (shekere, African d)
Akwasiba Atigbi, Erroll Edwards, Lady Oluoju Walquer (vo)

1. Soul Makossa
2. Takuta
3. Masai
4. Dominira
5. O-Wa
This one's a decidedly funky joint that was dropped in 1973, and which fans of Fela Kuti or of On The Corner-era Miles Davis would enjoy tremendously. I love percussion - there's plenty of it here. "Soul Makossa" is a mid-tempo funk-jazz workout. "Takuta" opens like a track from Drums of Passion - percussion and chanting - but quickly moves into a minimalist funk vibe that wouldn't be at all out of place alongside, say, David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The pace slows down a bit for "Masai", which meanders like a river current nearing the delta. "Dominira" opens with a nasty guitar & percussion intro before settling into an almost popish groove. "O-Wa" turns away from pop and closes the album on a note more reminiscent of "Takuta".

This music is a celebration of life, performed by people who seem to enjoy what they are doing and each other's company. For those of us who believed at one point that we could cure the world's social ills by injecting some peace and love into the collective psyche with music, this is the sort of stuff that makes it easy to believe once more. Enjoy!

Download Soul Makossa