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Osibisa - Osibisa CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.74 | 81 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I absolutely love this gem from the West African/Caribbean ensemble Osibisa. This, their debut album, features an exciting range of styles, fusing traditional 'World' elements with funk, psychedelic, rock and jazz and really makes for one heck of a listen. Anyone who enjoys dense, complex percussion rhythms is in for a treat. Opening track, 'The Dawn', is one of the best Osibisa tracks I've heard, the crystalline organ tones, flute, a great groove, the jungle noises - everything is in the right place here and it really offers something special. 'Music For Gong-Gong' is a brass heavy arrangement with an excellent progression and groove and some great organ playing. There is also a fine percussive segment toward the end. 'Ayiko Bia' starts out with tribal chanting and is a lengthy, jammy track, showing us a tasteful guitar solo from Wendell Richardson, giving it a psychey edge, a trumpet solo from Mac Tontoh and an even more complex percussion section. With the amazing assortment of percussive 'nik-naks' at hand, the band members 'feel' for the rhythm and their 'timing' is precision.

Second side starts with the funky song 'Akwaaba', some nice electric-piano included in this one, along with more great organ playing, another guitar solo, and various rhythmic patterns through-out. 'Oranges' is almost a 'pop' song, very danceable and up-lifting with brass solos (sax and flugel-horn) and guitar - possibly the simplest track on the album. 'Phallus C' is a psych jam alternating between a great riff in 9/8 and a 4/4 brassy affair - some almost avant-garde sax playing and more of Dell's magical guitaring. A really great track. 'Think About The People' is an excellent song, almost a classic, featuring a nice jazzy interlude followed by another great organ solo. All that, along with a superb Roger Dean gatefold cover really makes this album an excellent addition to your prog collection. I'd give it a 5, but the somewhat formulaic nature of the songs drops it back to a 4.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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