Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This morning's bewitching sound from Jos

Miles Cleret calls attention to the alleged otherworldly powers of THE SAHARA ALL STARS OF JOS in his liner notes for "NIGERIA SPECIAL: MODERN HIGHLIFE, AFRO-SOUNDS & NIGERIAN BLUES," which I am enjoying while preparing for work this morning.
"According to many of the musicians who I've spoken to, there was a feeling that the band had some sort of witchcraft on their side," Cleret writes, "and that playing at their open-air club was, for visiting bands, usually fraught with difficulties, which had been created to make the house band look better."
Frankly, the Sahara All Stars of Jos needn't have bothered. I am listening to their 1974 song "Feso Jaiye" right now, and it is delightful.
Backed by a slow guitar-and-saxophone jam, a high tenor voice sings in Yoruba, recommending that the listener "take life easy."
It's a beguiling track, and I have played it repeatedly now three -- hang on... Maybe it *IS* a bit too beguiling!
Maybe there is something to this witchcraft allegation after all.


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