Jaiyede Afro

Jaiyede Afro

by Orlando Julius

CD(Jewel Case)

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Overview

Nigerian musical innovator Orlando Julius made his reputation internationally in the mid-'60s with his smash album Super Afro Soul. Fela Kuti was actually in Julius' band, the Modern Aces, playing trumpet before leaving -- with a few of the band's members -- to form Koola Lobitos. Julius relocated to the United States for a time in the '70s, where, as O.J. Ekemode, he worked with everyone from Louis Armstrong and Lamont Dozier to Hugh Masekela and the Crusaders before returning to Africa. Though active on the concert front, Julius hasn't made a recording of material since the '80s. London's space funk pioneers the Heliocentrics, led by drummer Malcolm Catto, are, for lack of a better word, specialists in drawing out legendary personas -- they've cut collaborative albums with Mulatu Astatke, Lloyd Miller, and Melvin Van Peebles. Jaiyede Afro was recorded at their North London studio. It contains early compositions that have never been previously recorded, stomping rearrangements of classics, and some new tunes. Opener "Buje Buje" initially appeared on Orlando Julius & the Afro Sounders, issued back in 1973; it's far sleeker here. The breakbeat-driven groove features Julius' alto puncturing the backbeat with serpentine accents amid taut guitars and a bubbling, dubwise bassline. His vocals have lost none of their power over the decades, either. "Aseni" is pure, steamy, floor-grinding Afro-funk with a tough front horn line and killer hi-hat work by Catto. The title cut melds layers of hand percussion, drum kit, a rubbery bassline, spacy wafting organ, and angular guitar vamps. Julius' sax solo signals a change in direction as a call-and-response encounter with a female chorus transforms this slow burner into one of the set's finest moments. There is a hell of a lot of reverb here, but for the most part it never overwhelms the proceedings. "Omo Oba Blues" is guitarless. It's a highlife tune that commences with vocals (lead and backing chorus) and percussion, but gradually gets an organ vamp in the backdrop; it increases in dynamic and tempo before Julius delivers a piercing alto solo. "Be Counted" is a moaning, humid, and nocturnal jam with Julius and his singers entwining hypnotically before the horn section ruptures the driving Afro-beat that frames it. "In the Middle," an instrumental, is another cooking Afro-funk jam, combining African jazz, American funk, and Latin grooves; Julius displays his best sax of the album here. Jaiyede Afro marks a welcome return for Orlando Julius and overall is an excellent, fingerpopping, ass-shaking collaboration.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/09/2014
Label: Strut Records
UPC: 0730003311222
catalogNumber: 112
Rank: 60050

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Orlando Julius   Primary Artist,Organ,Percussion,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Phil Dawson   Guitar
Ollie Parfitt   Organ
Jason Yarde   Baritone Saxophone
Malcolm Catto   Organ,Percussion,Drums
Matt Roberts   Trumpet
Adrian Owusu   Guitar
Jack Yglesias   Conga
Abdul Raheem   Trombone
Jake Ferguson   Bass,Guitar
Luzmira Zerpa   Background Vocals
Latoya Aduke Ekemode   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Orlando Julius   Composer
Alfred Ellis   Composer
Quinton Scott   Interviewer
Matt Thame   Graphic Design
Malcolm Catto   Producer,Engineer
Heliocentrics   Composer
Jake Ferguson   Producer,Engineer
Lewis Heriz   Cover Art,Layout
Bud Hopgood   Composer

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