“Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey And His International Brothers” by Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1972Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

This was the 4th new-music LP from the 30-year-old Nigerian, delivered in the national style of Jùjú. The form had been around since the 1920s and was deeply rooted in the extremely advanced drumming traditions of the Yoruban people of Nigeria and Benin. Performers brought Jùjú from the rural poor to the urban cities of Nigeria and beyond, and by the mid-60s the modernised style had eclipsed Ghanian highlife as the Nigerians’ party music of choice. Ebenezer Obey was holding his own in the (usually friendly) Jùjú wars, battling with artists such as I. K. Dairo and King Sunny Adé for market share and public affection. He more than held his own, as his prolific output testifies. I find this work to be extremely complex – you could listen ten times over and still not connect with everything that’s going on. Still, it works on many different levels, and is very easy on the ear with even the most casual attention being paid. Content wise, there are purportedly 12 tracks on the LP, but in reality these are best regarded as 2 long suites. It’s nearly impossible to tell exactly where one track should end and another begin, and, as with the jazz world, recurring motifs appear and disappear, adding further weight to the argument for blending six tracks as one. In 1972, Obey would’ve been unheard of outside of his native territory but, thankfully, the world has gotten a lot smaller since then. Thanks to dedicated music fans’ blogs such as the Global Groove in the Netherlands, these out-of-print treasures can be shared across the continents, all these years later. You can download a free copy of this LP here.

The Jukebox Rebel

A [19:08] 6.6.png Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and his International Brothers - Edumare Soro Mi Dayo / Ajala - Alhaja / Alhaji Babs. / Animashaun / Laide Oropo / Bode Oshinusi (?) Africana
B [19:51] 6.1.png Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and his International Brothers - Board Members / Efori Jiwa / Bisi Cash / Madam / Chief Funsho / Oyename (Remo-Carpet) (?) Africana
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