Album: Nigeria 70 - Sweet Times: Afro Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970s Lagos
While much of the breezy music on this compilation is fusion-minded in a light-hearted way, none of the songs betray a burning desire for radical experimentation. But the record’s centerpiece comes closest. “It’s Time for Juju Music,” by Admiral Dele Abiodun & His Top Hitters International. (And no, you aren’t the only one to notice that all of these band names are incredibly classy.) This fifteen-minute beast of a song, in fact edited down to a quarter of an hour from twenty minutes, is a cosmic jazz workout. I think it’s the highlight of the album, but I can understand why someone might find it overlong and tedious, perhaps even somewhat disorganized.
The keyboard is like a small planet drawing the guitar into its orbit, the talking drum solo propelling the ears into orbit. One of the percussive effects throughout the song is strongly redolent of King Sunny Ade…