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    Soul Jazz Records presents Apala:Apala Groups in Nigeria 1967-70Soul Jazz Records

    Soul Jazz Records new ‘Apala: Apala Groups in Nigeria 1967-70’ is the first ever collection of Apala music to be released outside of Nigeria.

    The album focusses on a wide selection of recordings made in Nigeria in the 1960s, a time when Apala music was at the height of its popularity. Apala is a deeply rhythmical, hypnotic and powerful musical style that combines the striking nasal-style vocals and traditions of Islamic music, the Agidigbo (thumb piano), and the equally powerful drumming and percussion rhythms and techniques of the Yoruba of Nigeria.

    The most significant figure in Apala music is undoubtedly Haruna Ishola who features throughout this album. Ishola holds an almost mythological status in his role as populariser of Apala music in Nigeria. Ishola’s singing was believed to be so powerful that, without proper restraint, it could kill the recipient of his music.

    Apala is a popular music that also functioned as a form of cultural resistance – Apala music involved no western instrumentation and is sung in the Yoruba language, its aesthetic an implicit cultural rejection of the British Empire’s colonial rule over Nigeria which lasted from 1901 until independence in 1960.

    Apala music was popular and widely accepted in Nigeria due to its philosophical and profound lyrical content alongside the complex rhythmic patterns of this heavily percussive style, which highlighted many of the percussion instruments of south-west Nigeria.

    Apala is one of a number of popular urban styles of music that came out of Nigeria in the 20th century and sits alongside the more well-known (in the West) styles of Fuji, Highlife, Juju and Afrobeat. Of these modern forms Apala remains perhaps the most ‘roots’ style (sometimes described as ‘neo-traditional’) due to the authenticity of its sound. It has similar Islamic roots to other neo-traditional styles of Nigeria – including Waka and Sakara – examples of which are also included on this collection contextualising the music of Apala.

    These recordings were originally made and released locally by Decca and EMI Records as well as a variety of independent labels in Nigeria and have never been released outside of the country before. Soul Jazz Records are releasing this album as a deluxe double gatefold vinyl (+ download code), CD, slipcase and booklet, both containing full text and photography.

    • Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group – Ewure Ile Komoyi Ode
    • Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group – Aboyin Ile
    • Rapheal Ajide and His Apala Group – Adura Fun Osiwowo
    • Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group – Orin To Mo Gbon Wa
    • R.A. Tikalosoro and His Group – Agilinti Lomu
    • Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group – A.B.D. Alawiye
    • Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group – Asa Ko Gbodo Wole Gbeiyele
    • Adeleke Aremu & His Group – Egbe Arowolo
    • Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group – Rufai Baolgun
    • R.A. Tikalosoro and His Group – Kiniun Kuro Leran Amu Sere
    • Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group – S. Aka
    • Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group – Lekele Bale
    • Kasumu Adio and His Apala Group – Odale Ore
    • Ayisatu Alabi and Her Group – Oko Lolomo
    • Jimoh Agbejo Bo Ogun and His Group – Oriki Ibeji
    • Ayisatu Alabi and Her Group – Omo Olobi
    • Rapheal Ajide and His Apala Group – Orin Aje
    • Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group – Sunday Babayemi
    • 1. Haruna Ishola and His Apala Group – Ewure Ile Komoyi Ode
    • 2. Adebukonla Ajao and Her Group – Aboyin Ile
    • 3. Rapheal Ajide and His Apala Group – Adura Fun Osiwowo
    • View full info and tracklisting
    Nigeria Soul Power 70 (Expanded Double LP Set)Soul Jazz Records

    Seriously rare, killer and classic Nigerian 70s Afro-Funk, Afro-Disco & Afro-Rock tunes bought together.

    Originally released as a now-long-out-of-print collectors’ 7” RSD box, this fully expanded album release now also includes extra tracks from Sonny Okosuns, Wings, Chief Kollington Ayinla and more.

    Soul Jazz Records’ Nigeria Soul Power 70 album showcases the influence of funk, rock and disco on Nigerian music during the 1970s

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    While for many people the fusion of funk and jazz music with Nigerian rhythms and aesthetics began with Fela Kuti and his afro-beat sound, in fact this can be traced further back to the phenomena of the 1960s Nigerian artists and house bands in nightclubs and hotels who interpreted US soul and pop music with a local flavour and none more so than Geraldo Pino, the ‘African James Brown’ who features heavily in this collection. Other similarly inspired Nigerian funk and soul artists featured here included Tony Grey and his Ozimba Messengers and Don Bruce and The Angels.

    Nigeria Soul Power 70 includes a number of tracks from the group Wings originally known as BAF (Biafran Air Force) Wings, an army band formed during the Biafran civil war in Nigeria. The groups’ heavy mixture of funk, rock and African styles was popular among many Nigerian groups at the time.

    Beneath the shadow of the few Nigerian artists who signed international recording deals in the 1970s – Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey – lies a vast wealth of largely undiscovered musical transmutation and cultural cross-pollination, and included here are heavy afro-funk/rock and disco tracks from artists such as the legendary Sonny Okosuns as well as rare cuts from little-known outside of Nigeria - groups such as Colomach and MFB. Most of these obscure artists signed to major labels in Nigeria in the commercial slipstream that opened up as Philips, Decca and EMI tried to emulate the international success of the big three international Nigerian artists.

    Finally featured here is Kollington Ayinla, one of the co-founders of Nigerian Fuji music, who gives us perhaps the heaviest of all tracks on this album. Ayinla is the great moderniser of the Fuji sound and in the late 1970s began adding Bata drums and synthesizers to his authentic music to create a powerful and heavy new fusion of traditional and modernist aesthetics, embracing both new technology and experimentation while rooted firmly in Nigerian historical lineage.

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    Nigeria Soul Power 70 is released as a heavyweight gatefold double vinyl LP (+ free download code), deluxe slipcase CD and digital album.

    • Geraldo Pino – Shake Hands
    • Sonny Okosuns Ozziddi – Dance Of The Elephants
    • The Wings – We'll Get Home
    • Alhaji (Chief) Prof. Kollington Ayinla – E Ye Ika Se
    • Colomach – Kassa Kpa Sama Kpa
    • Geraldo Pino – Heavy Heavy Heavy
    • MFB – Beware
    • Tony Grey and The Ozimba Messengers – You Are The One
    • Sonny Okosuns Ozziddi – Oba Erediauwa I
    • The Wings – Single Boy
    • Geraldo Pino – Power To The People
    • Original Wings – Igba Alusi
    • Don Bruce and The Angels – Sugar Baby
    • Geraldo Pino – Africans Must Unite
    Congo Revolution - Revolutionary and Evolutionary Sounds From The Two Congos 1955 - 62Soul Jazz Records

    This stunning new release looks at the explosion of music that came out of the Congo in the years leading up to independence in 1960. Congolese rumba, a wild combination of African, Jazz and Latin influences, created future stars of its now legendary creators – Franco, Grand Kalle, Tabu Ley, Dr. Nico, Papa Wemba - and all feature here in their ground-breaking early groups such as O.K.Jazz, Brazzos, Rock-A-Mambo, African Jazz and The Beguen Band.

    The Congo is in fact two countries – The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) and the Republic of the Congo. Congo Revolution was first released as a sampler 7” box set for RSD, and this expanded release includes a 50-page booklet/double gatefold and inner sleeves containing extensive text explaining the evolution of the music and history of the two Congos, and how music, politics and popular culture intersected at the point of independence from the two Congos’ European colonisers – Belgium and France – through songs such as ‘Vive Patrice Lumumba,’ and ‘MNC Uhuru,’ which celebrated the Congolese independence leader prior to his political assassination.

    Also included is the stunning images of the Congolese photographer Jean Depara who documented the Congo’s vibrant nightlife in the period 1955-65 as well as being the official photographer for the superstar Congolese artist Franco up until his death in 1989. Depara also documents the rise of the Bills (Congolese teenagers who dressed as cowboys) and sharp-suited évolués (which later gave rise to the fashion-conscious phenomenon of the Congolese ‘Sapeurs’). These superb images are reproduced in collaboration with Revue Noire in France.

    This album comes as a deluxe heavyweight double vinyl with gatefold sleeve and individual inner sleeves, CD with slipcase and 50-page outsize booklet and as digital release.

    • Brazzos et OK Jazz – Cha Cha Cha Del Zombo
    • Brazzos Et OK Jazz – Tcha Tcha Tcha Mi Amor
    • Essous et Rock-A-Mambo – Baila
    • Edo et O.K. Jazz – Kumavula Tubakueto
    • O.K. Jazz – Sois Sage Amour
    • Nino & Rock-a-Mambo – Allegria
    • Bagette et Le Vedette Jazz Orchestre – Rhythmo Vedette Jazz
    • Franco et O.K. Jazz – Tokeyi Kobina Calypso
    • Essous et Orchestre Bantou – Luiza
    • Beguen Band – Yo Me Moera
    • African Jazz – Vive Patrice Lumumba
    • Dewayon & Conga Jazz – Na Lingi Na Ngai Kubala Te
    • Kongo Jazz – La Belle Lucie Botayi
    • Grupo O.K Jazz – Grupo O.K Jazz
    • Rock-A- Mambo – Cherie Nini
    • African Jazz – Flowers of Luckness
    • African Fiesta – Merengue Nico
    • Rock-a-Mambo – Les Voyous
    • Wendo Kolosoy with Beguen Band – Marie Louise
    • African Jazz – Ngonga Ebeti Independance
    • African Jazz – MNC Uhuru
    • 1. Brazzos et OK Jazz – Cha Cha Cha Del Zombo
    • 2. Brazzos Et OK Jazz – Tcha Tcha Tcha Mi Amor
    • 3. Essous et Rock-A-Mambo – Baila
    • View full info and tracklisting
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    Soul Jazz Records presents Nigeria Fuji MachineSynchro Sound System & PowerSoul Jazz Records

    ‘Synchro Sound System & Power’ features the music of Nigeria Fuji Machine, which includes some of Nigeria's finest ‘Fuji’ master drummers and singers, and is newly recorded by Soul Jazz Records in Lagos.

    Fuji is the heavily percussive and improvisational style of Nigerian popular music, at once modern and yet deeply rooted in the traditional Islamic Yoruba culture of Nigeria.

    Here on this album Nigeria Fuji Machine’s striking and powerful lead vocalist Taofik Yemi Fagbenro soars above a wild and energetic backdrop of polyrhythms played on traditional talking drums, trap drums, electronic and street percussion to create a powerful wall of intense sound.

    Fuji is hi-energy street music, heavily percussive which evolved out of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan, which became a major event in mid-20th century Lagos. Groups of young men walked through Muslim neighbourhoods at night singing improvised ‘wéré’ music to the accompaniment of pots, pans, drums, bells and anything else available, waking believers for the early morning prayer. By the early 1970s this music had crossed-over into popular Nigerian culture where it came to be known as Fuji, first made popular by the artist Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, as the music began to be performed commonly at parties and social events.

    In the 1970s and 1980s three Nigerian artists – King Sunny Adé, Chief Ebonezer Obey and Fela Kuti – all secured international major record deals bringing popularity to the Nigerian musical styles of Juju (Adé and Obey) and Afro-Beat (Fela Kuti’s unique mixture of highlife, funk and jazz) abroad, but in the process ignoring much of Nigeria’s rich musical landscape. Fuji is, alongside Highlife, Juju, Afro-Beat, Sakara, Afro-Reggae, Waka, Igbo rap, Apala and numerous others – one of these central styles of Nigerian music.

    The singer Barrister described the music as follows: ‘Fuji music is a combination of music consisting of Sakara, Apala, Juju, Aro, Afro, Gudugudu, and possibly Highlife.’ Juju performer King Sunny Adé described the difference between the two styles of Fuji and Juju somewhat competitively thus: ‘Fuji music is more or less like my music without guitars. It’s like I’m singing in a major key and they are singing in a minor. The music itself is the music of Juju music.’

    Today Fuji remains a powerful popular music with deep and powerful Islamic roots which continues to modernise and attract new generations of young Nigerians and Nigeria Fuji Machine’s ‘Syncho Sound System & Power’ is a powerful and intense musical experience.

    This album is released as a limited-edition heavyweight vinyl edition (+free download code), deluxe CD and digital format.

    • – Iba
    • – Orin Gidi
    • – Ilu
    • – Ẹyọ-Sẹsẹ
    • – Garaje
    • – Ọrọ Owe
    • – Ire
    Soul Jazz Records presents Yoruba!Songs and Rhythms For The Yoruba Gods In NigeriaSoul Jazz Records

    Soul Jazz Records’ latest album ‘Yoruba! Songs and Rhythms for the Yoruba Gods in Nigeria’ is newly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria.

    The album is co-produced by Laolu Akins, founding member of the legendary 1970s Nigerian Afro-Funk/Rock group Blo, and Soul Jazz Records label head Stuart Baker.

    This album features songs honouring the Nigerian gods of the Yoruba traditional religion – Yemoja, Obatala, Ogun, Sango and others – as well as a selection of instrumental cuts focussing on the Bata and Dundun drums. The album comes complete with extensive text and photography (40-page outsize booklet in CD/ full text in gatefold double vinyl + inners) showing the influence of Yoruba culture throughout the world and the social and historical context for the music contained here.

    The enormous impact of Yoruba and West African music and culture is worldwide – from the first Afro-centric explorations of African-American jazz musicians in the 1950s such as Art Blakey, Randy Weston and Dizzy Gillespie, the explosion of Nu Yorican Latin music in New York City starting in the 1960s – Mambo, Boogaloo, Latin funk and soul - through to the sacred and powerful Afro-derived music of the religions of Santería in Cuba, Candomblé in Brazil and Voodoo in Haiti, which all came in to existence on account the Atlantic slave trade which began over 400 years ago. On a wider scale West African music remains the primary root of all African-American musical forms – from New Orleans jazz to Bronx rap, gospel, soul and more.

    Yoruba! features an array of local master drummers led by Olatunji Samson Sotimirin and singers (featuring the lead vocals of Janet Olufanmilayo Abe) performing heavyweight Afro-rhythms, with talking drums, Bata and Dundun drums and a mass of percussion in these deep spiritual and sacred songs used to honour and worship the traditional and ancient Yoruba gods in Nigeria, West Africa.

    'Hypnotic, spiritual rhythms' FACT Magazine



    • – Homage To Yemoja
    • – Homage To Esu
    • – Sakara Instrumental Ensemble
    • – Homage To Obatala
    • – Eulogy To Amila
    • – Homage To Sango
    • – Agbe Gbe-Wadele
    • – Eulogy To Ori-Ola
    • – Bata Drums Ensemble
    • – Homage To Osun
    • – Eshere
    • – Dundun Instrumental Ensemble
    • – Homage To Ogun
    Tee MacNight Illusion (1980)Soul Jazz Records

    Soul Jazz Records’ are releasing Tee Mac’s ‘Night Illusion’, a lost classic Nigerian Afro soul meets disco boogie funk album originally released in Nigeria in 1980. Impossibly hard to find, the record remains practically unknown outside of Nigeria.

    Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger and features on Soul Jazz Records’ recent collection Nigeria Soul Fever – Afro Funk Disco and Boogie alongside Joni Haastrup, Christy Essien and others, as well as on a recent compilation ‘Nepa Oh Nepa’ (released on Hot Casa earlier this year). 

    The timelessness of this soulful, ground-breaking funk jazz lost masterpiece ‘Night Illusion’ leads to comparisons with James Mason’s legendary lost classic album Rhythm of Life, with his unique individualism and intensity hinting at the boogie funk of groups such as Mass Production and Slave so loved by artists such as Moodyman and Theo Parrish.  While Fela Kuti is now a cultural icon of Nigerian music throughout the world, the recent crossover success of William Onyeabor shows just how much undiscovered Nigerian music remains waiting to be explored outside of the country.

    Tee Mac was born in Lagos, the son of a Nigerian princess and a Swiss diplomat. He picked up the flute at age 7 and ten years later was studying classical musical in Switzerland under his uncle the composer J.J. Direndirger. Returning to Lagos, Nigeria in 1970 he formed the heavyweight afro rock group Tee Mac and Afro Collection (which included Johnny Haastrup on keyboards and The Lijadu Sisters on vocals). This band was famously joined by the legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker who came to Nigeria to play with them in 1971 (captured in the film Ginger Baker in Africa).

    At age 24, Tee Mac moved to Germany where he co-wrote and recorded the European disco group Silver Convention (whose ‘Fly Robin Fly’ became number one in the USA charts). 

    Tee Mac continues to live in Lagos today and travels the world as a composer – one of whose pieces is The City of Mer Kailash (2009), a two-hour ballet featuring over 60 dancers and a 100+ piece orchestra.

    Soul Jazz Records are releasing this lost classic Nigerian album as a strictly limited-edition 1000 copies worldwide exact-replica artwork reproduction LP (+ sleevenotes + free download), CD and digital album.

    • – Living Everyday
    • – Struggle
    • – Talk To Me
    • – Hit Hit
    • – Night Illusion
    • – A Certain Way To Go
    • – Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
    Nigeria Soul Fever - Afro Funk, Disco and BoogieSoul Jazz Records

    Soul Jazz Records’ new Nigeria Soul Fever is their first release to explore the vast wealth of Nigerian music recorded in the 1970s. The new album comes with introductory sleevenotes by Bill Brewster (author of Last Night A DJ Saved My Life).

    Packed-full with Afro-Funk, Disco and Boogie all from Nigeria, this triple album/double CD set brings together a stunning collection of diverse West African sounds. Whilst a small handful of the artists featured (Joni Haastrup, Tee Mac, Christy Essien) have seen the light of day outside Africa, this is essentially a collection of killer tracks by an array of artists completely unknown outside of Nigeria. 

    Artists such as Don Bruce & The Angels, Akin Richards & The Executives, Angela Starr, Jimmy Sherry & The Music Agents. It’s no surprise that these records are extremely rare and expensive to buy individually so this album will save you going broke trying to find them.

    These recordings were made at a time when Nigeria’s trade restrictions banned imported records. Whilst new musical trends (such as American soul, funk, disco etc) entered and influenced the country, the local music scene remained just that – local. Consequently, these recordings remain practically unknown to anyone outside of the country.

    Nigeria Soul Fever is released as triple-album vinyl + download, double-CD digi-pack and digital download. This album follows on from Soul Jazz Records’ 1960s collection Nigeria Freedom Sounds, released last month, and will be followed by the reissue of the incredibly rare and groovy Nigerian 1980 disco boogie funk album Tee Mac’s Night Illusion.

    "Excellent new soul jazz compilation Nigeria Soul Fever: Afrofunk, Disco And Boogie: West African Disco Mayhem!" THE GUARDIAN

    READ Guardian top 10 Nigerian Disco full feature here


    • Joni Haastrup – Free My People
    • Christy Essien – You Can't Change A Man
    • Akin Richards & The Executives – Afrikana Disco
    • Tee Mac – Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
    • Joni Haastrup – Greetings
    • Don Bruce and The Angels – Ocheche (Happy Song)
    • Benis Cletin – Get Up and Dance
    • Colomach – Enoviyin
    • Joni Haastrup – Do The Funkro
    • Tee Mac featuring Marjorie Barnes – Living Everyday
    • Arakatula – Mr Been To
    • Angela Starr – Disco Dancing
    • Joni Haastrup – Wake Up Your Mind
    • Jimmy Sherry & The Musik Agents – Nwaeze
    • Benis Cletin – Soul Fever
    • Arakatula – Wake Up Africa
    • 1. Joni Haastrup – Free My People
    • 2. Christy Essien – You Can't Change A Man
    • 3. Akin Richards & The Executives – Afrikana Disco
    • View full info and tracklisting
    Lijadu SistersAfro-Beat Soul Sisters: The Lijadu Sisters at Afrodisia, Nigeria, 1976-79.Soul Jazz

    Killer new female Afro-Beat Funk from Nigeria in the 1970s.

    The Lijadu Sisters released a series of albums in the 1970s in Nigeria that blended heavyweight Afro-Beat with psychedelic Afro-Rock, High-Life, Disco and Soul in a truly unique combination. These albums are impossibly rare to find and this collection brings together the best of those recordings.

    The Lijadu Sisters were the most successful female group in Nigeria in the 1970s and managed to overturn many stereotypes and attitudes as they carved out a unique space for themselves in a predominantly male arena.

    Their influences ranged from female soul singers such as Aretha Franklin, The Pointer Sisters and Miriam Makeba to the afro-beat of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti as well as the juju music of I.K. Dairo and the highlife of Victor Olaiya.

    The Lijadu Sisters, identical twins Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu, grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria. They recorded their debut albumfor Decca Records in 1969. At the start of the 1970s the two singers joined ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s short-lived all-African group Salt (which also included future members of the Afro-Rock group Blo).

    In recent years, Lijadu Sisters have featured on releases on the Soundway and Strut labels. This album brings together the best of their tracks from the four albums recorded for the Afrodisia label in Nigeria – Danger (1976), Mother Africa (1977), Sunshine (1978) and Horizon Unlimited (1979). 

    Read Guardian newspaper feature and review here.

    Licensed from Afodisia, Nigeria.

    Digital availabe outside USA only.


    • – Danger
    • – Orere - Elejigbo
    • – Erora
    • – Bayi L'ense
    • – Sunshine
    • – Life's Gone Down Low
    • – Gbowo Mi
    • – Come and Dance
    • – Osupa
    • – Cashing In
    • – Amebo
    • – Gbalo - Alogbalo
    • – Not Any Longer