The cool little Strut Records imprint will be releasing the new Grandmaster Flash album later this year, and in addition to a fine roster that already boasts things like Disco Italia: Essential Italo Disco Classics (so all over that!) and Funky Nassau, they have a new collection that I am absolutely loving.
Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump is a compilation of “original heavyweight afrobeat highlife and afro-funk” music that I’m finding to be just the cure for ears tired of the same old same old. Quick wiki-history lesson: Following the freedom of independence from the UK in 1960, and the bloody wars and ethnic clashes that the late ’60s brought to Nigeria, the ’70s were a time of relative oil-fueled prosperity, and a time where musical expression and experimentation could grow.
During this decade Nigerian musicians melded the outside influences of European and American big band, jazz, and rock that they heard crackling over their radios with their own traditional beats, instrumentation, language, and spirit. On this compilation, leading Afro archivist Duncan Brooker worked with Strut Records founder Quinton Scott to introduce a wider audience to the eclectic, funky, bold sounds of this era.
The previous 3-CD collection of Nigerian music that Strut Records put out in 2001 (Nigeria 70) is now out of print, and sells for close to $100. So, yeah. You might think about gettin’ while the gettin’s good. The opening track:
Yabis – Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars
PREORDER — Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump is out on May 27.