Jun 24, 2014

RhoDeo 1425 Roots

Hello, ah yes Mexico came second in their group thanks to a string of dubious referee decisions and is rewarded with a 1/8th final against Netherlands. They will be the big favorite as the match is played almost midday close to the equator where the average mid winter temperature is 29.4 C go figure. FIFA nasty people and the Brazilian organizers lack sense as well, i guess playing soccer under normal temps like in Rio should be reserved to the chanceless. Like every opponent of FIFA/Brazil, I would love to see Chile beat Brazil but such is not allowed with the unfairplay campaign of FIFA. Mexico is my favorite team now they will cruise up to the semis and then it's in the lap of the FIFA gods.

There's much more music in Nigeria besides Fela Kuti today in the spotlight two of the grand old men of the Nigerian music scene, who did much more then just make music, 4 titles for you to  ...N'joy

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Victor Uwaifo is a Nigerian musician, writer, sculptor, and musical instrument inventor, born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria in 1941. He is famous for his joromi music. He records under the name Sir Victor Uwaifo. His best-known songs, "Guitar Boy" and "Mami water" were a huge hit in 1966. "Mami water" was inspired by an encounter (which he has long maintained actually occurred) with a "mami water" (mermaid) while lounging on Bar Beach in Lagos. He also served as commissioner for arts and culture in Edo State under the government of Lucky Igbinedion.

Uwaifo obtained his secondary school education at the Western Boys' High School Benin and St Gregory's College, Lagos, in the years 1957–1961. He studied graphics at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and graduated in 1961–1963. He received a bachelor's degree first class honors and a master's degree from the University of Benin in 1994, where he studied fine and applied arts and majored in sculpture.
Early in his career, Victor Uwaifo was a member of Bobby Benson's Highlife band. Uwaifo made history in Nigeria when he won the first Golden record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa (presented by Philips, West Africa) for his song "Joromi" in 1996. Victor Uwaifo, who has a total of 12 golden records to date, has traveled to many countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Hungary, Rome, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin Republic and others.

His song Joromi has legendary status among his fans and his performances are characterized by his ability to play the guitar with both his feet and also his tongue. The Federal Government of Nigeria, in appreciation of his talents and contributions to Nigeria honored him with a National Honors Merit in 1983. Uwaifo was the first professional musician in Nigeria to receive such an award. He is a Justice of the Peace and has served in many capacities. Uwaifo was also appointed as the Honorable Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Tourism and Member of the State Executive Council, the highest policy-making decision body in Edo State, 2001–2003.

In 1995, he was invited by the United Nations Staff Day International Committee to perform during the UN Golden Jubilee celebration. Uwaifo is cited in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1983 edition, documented in the "Who's Who in Nigeria", "Who's Who in Africa", "Who's Who in the Commonwealth", and "Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth" sections. He is an Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England, a member of both the Performing Right Society, and of the Advisory Board of American Heritage University, California, U.S.A.. Uwaifo is the Chairman of Joromi Organization, a multi-track recording and television studio in Benin City. He runs and manages an art gallery and the Victor Uwaifo Hall of Fame.

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One of the true enigmas of the Nigerian music scene, Sir Victor Uwaifo has been an instantly recognisable figure throughout his five decades in the music industry. He built his first guitar aged 12 and went on to be awarded Africa's first gold disc in 1969. His incessant energy have seen him record countless LP's and singles and become one of Nigeria's true superstars. A musician, poet, philosopher, sculptor, painter, ambassador and recently Commissioner for Culture, he has carved a unique place for himself in the history of African music. This compilation focuses on his 'Ekassa' period in the first half of the 1970's. These recordings were made after his return from Lagos to his home town of Benin City in Edo State at the start of the new decade. Uwaifo mixed the ancient culture of the Benin Obas with highlife & a dash of rock and soul to form his new style. Amazingly many of these cuts have remained unavailable since then... until now

Sir Victor Uwaifo - Guitar-Boy Superstar 1970-76  (flac  393mb)

01 Kirikisi 3:53
02 Igboroho 2:58
03 Idogo 7:15
04 Agho 3:34
05 Obodo Eyo 3:23
06 Mother Witch-Shu'husu'hu 3:30
07 Talking Instruments 3:09
08 Edenederio 5:17
09 Akuyan 3:11
10 Dododo (Ekassa # 1) 5:20
11 Do Lelezi 5:56
12 Atete 3:56
13 Happy Day From Me To You 2:48
14 Ebibi 5:10
15 Egbe Natete 3:36
16 Iye Iye Oh 3:05
17 Madaka 2:55
18 West African Safari 2:58

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Victor Uwaifo was the 1st Nigerian to win a golden record, here a tribute which marks out his remarkable musical achievements. Ekassa first released in the early seventies, features the maestro's inventive guitar work and own uniquely funky articulations of indigenous dance rhythms. Enjoy the timeless Uwaifo sound lovingly remastered to perfection. Came as bonus with Rough Guide to Psychedelic Africa album.

Victor Uwaifo and His Melody Maestroes - Talk Of The Town - Ekassa  (flac  222mb)

01 Ebibi Ekassa 28 5:19
02 Igiodo-giodo Ekassa 34 4:41
03 Isede Ekassa 31 3:57
04 Votumamuoga Ekassa 32 3:21
05 Aiworo Ekassa 25 2:29
06 Ame´Sihion-Segbe Ekassa 38 5:06
07 Kirikisi Ekassa 24 3:59
08 Akhuankhuan Ekassa 26 5:43
09 Sumwensowa Ekassa 35 3:45
10 Osulelemule Ekassa 29 3:06

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Peter King was born in 1938 in Enugu in the Southeastern region of Nigeria and grew up in Lokoja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. In 1957 he joined the Roy Chicago band in Ibadan, playing the Maracas and then the Conga drum. He moved to other bands in Ibadan and then Lagos, playing the double bass, drums and then the alto sax. In 1961 he went to London where he studied at various schools of music, including the Trinity College of Music. While in London, Peter King joined with drummer Bayo Martins and trumpeter Mike Falana to form the "African Messengers" group. The group performed at festivals and clubs, and served as backup band for acts like The Four Tops, The Temptations and Diana Ross. The African Messengers recorded many 45rpm records. "Highlife Piccadilly", a fusion of Highlife and Jazz was a hit. Peter King formed another band "The Blues Builders" with which he toured Europe and Northern Africa.

Peter King returned to Nigeria in 1969, and with his group "The Voice of Africa" performed on the war front during the Nigerian Civil War. Returning to London in 1971 he toured Europe, America and Japan with his group "Shango". He assembled and arranged a big band to back the singing group Boney M on their first live concert tour across Europe in 1977. He recorded nine studio albums between 1975 and 1978, and wrote music for several plays and television shows. In 1979 King returned to Nigeria and formed the P.K band. He composed music for soap operas and recorded three further albums. In the early 1980s Peter King and his P.K. Band played on the NTA and at the National Museum, Lagos for three years.

Peter King plays in the Sonny Rollins-Gene Ammons-John Coltrane tradition. He has a unique tone, flawless articulation and a fresh turn of mind in improvisations, and is the leading tenor saxophone voice to have come from the Nigerian highlife and afrobeat traditions. Talking of his hit "Highlife Piccadilly", Peter King said "Our philosophy was to play modern jazz with highlife as the basis ... Afrojazz is my musical direction and a mission". Peter King combined afrobeat with a funk style similar to James Brown. His "Shango" was acclaimed by critics. Opening with a simple flute melody, tambourines enter followed by complex duets between horns and looping guitar riffs.

Peter King founded his School of Music in 1982, in a three-room apartment in Maza Maza. At first it had about 30 students. Since then the College has expanded greatly, and is now located in Badagry. It has lecture halls, rehearsal rooms, an assembly-concert hall and hostel facilities. The school has been assisted by Canadian musicians Oliver Jones and Archie Allen and greatly assisted by the French government. Almost two thousand students have graduated from the school since 1982. The school provides practical tuition and grants certificates and diplomas. It prepares students for the professional examinations of Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship of the Trinity, Royal and London Schools of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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Composer and multi-instrumentalist is a seminal yet under-recognized artist on the Nigerian music scene of the 1970s. Though he recorded nine albums in Africa, the U.S., and U.K., Shango is the only one currently available. Recorded in 1974, King's Shango is a mixture of hard African rhythms, James Brown-styled funk, jazzed-up horn arrangements, and political messages. From the standpoint of the Lagos scene, the album is a classic of the period rivaling virtually anything that Fela or Tony Allen were putting across at the time. With King blowing deep-groove soul and out jazz saxophone solos above the chants, the music becomes a boiling pot of hip-shaking sexiness and rage. King being a formally trained musician outside of Nigeria (one of the schools he attended was the Berklee College of Music), his conception of harmony is revolutionary as he strides blues, R&B, soul, post-bop jazz, whole-tone variations, and counterpoint to edgily shift the focus of each tune on the set -- note the sweet soul blowing on "Prisoner of Law" that becomes a big band extrapolation of seven shades in the key of C. The title track choogles along, burning underneath with a series of percussive contrapuntal moves that accent a bassline already fragmenting under the power of the groove, and "Freedom Dance" takes the Brown ethic of overdriven funked-up brass aesthetics into territory that reflects both Eastern repetitive chanting and the gospel shout and roll of Ray Charles. There isn't a weak second here, not a maudlin note. Everything here is so deeply blue it's the brightest black you've ever heard.

Peter King - Shango  (flac  332mb)

01 Shango 5:40
02 Prisoner Of Law 5:41
03 Mr Lonely Wolf 6:55
04 Freedom Dance 4:14
05 Go Go's Feast 7:46
06 Mystery Tour 6:17
07 Now I'm A Man 3:37
08 Watusi 4:46

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"Omo Lewa by Nigerian born band leader and multi-instrumentalist Peter King came into the world in 1976. From start to finish, King weaves afrobeat, highlife, and jazz with mesmerizing skill. Long out of print, this album contains some of the prolific artist's finest work. Highlights like “Afro-Funk” and “Ajo” have been singeing slipmats via recent African compilations and whetting the appetites of numerous music fans. As prices on the collector's market reiterate, this pent up demand has made Omo Lewa Peter King's most sought after LP. In addition, overlooked tracks like “Omo Lewa,” “Eda,” and “Ko Dara” help solidify what is surely one of King's most consistently hard hitting records. Recorded in London, it marks the second release by King on Orbitone Records, a relationship spanning from 1975-1978 and yielding four studio albums. It signaled a further refinement of his arrangement and compositional skills, and exists in stark contrast to Miliki Sounds, his predominately highlife-centric Orbitone debut. Throughout a career spanning the late 1950s through today, King has maintained his roots in the Western African music he grew up with, while expanding his formal musical education in London at the Trinity School of Music, the same school both Ebo Taylor and Fela Kuti attended. The results are a rich sonic palette of funk, highlife, and jazz executed with the acumen and precision of a master. Following up our reissue of Peter King's African Dialects, we are thrilled to again be working directly with Orbitone Records and Peter King to bring this great record back into print.

Peter King - Omo Lewa  (flac 190mb)

01 Oma Lewa 5:19
02 Yere Africa 4:29
03 Afro Funk 3:53
04 Eda 3:03
05 Ajo 3:57
06 Congo 4:11
07 Ko Dara 3:33

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Anonymous said...

Absolutely BRILLIANT of you to post the Sir Victor Uwaifo! Thank you very much for your discerning taste.

Sjef Rolet said...

Absolute ACE post!! Thank you so much for bringing these rare recordings. Also, The Heart Of The Forest, that one is mindblowing! Keep em coming Sir.. Much love from Holland.


Lisa said...

Hi Rho, thank you for your fantastic blog. Unfortunately the Peter King links are all dead it seems :( any chance you could reupload these? Your description of these records sound great


Anonymous said...

Sorry for posting in the wrong place!
Again; would it be possible to re-upload these fantastic pieces of Nigerian history?