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Osibisa - Osibisa CD (album) cover

OSIBISA

Osibisa

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.73 | 57 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I recently ran into this Osibisa release in a big pile of neglected records and decided to give it a spin. What a pleasant suprise, apparently I used to listen to this record a lot because so much of it sounded familiar, but what was really nice was that it sounded better than ever. This is some 70s progressive music that has aged very well.

If you are not familiar with early 70s Osibisa then the best way I could describe it would be to imagine a mixture of the progressive horn charts of early Chicago, with the fiery guitar/organ interplay of Santana, all driven by an African percussion section. Osibisa has a lot in common with other early 70s African based progressive groups such as Mandrill, King Sunny Ade, early Earth Wind and Fire and of course Santana. Most of the core members of the original Osibisa came up through the highlife music scene in 60s and 70s Ghana. Highlife is a style somewhat similar to RnB in the states, and its open structure allows for mixing in other influeces such as jazz or rock.

Although many original members were from Ghana, Osibisa came up through the London scene where they took their highlife music and added complex horn charts and multi-sectioned compositional structures which endeared them to much of the jazz leaning progressive rock crowd. Although some of their songs do have complex arrangements, others are fun two chord workouts in the classic Santana tradition.

Although there are other progressive rock bands with an African base, Osibisa has been the band to get the most attention from the traditional progressive rock fan-base. I guess having Roger Dean artwork on your first album cover doesn't hurt.

js (Easy Money) | 3/5 |

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