Obey this Commander's call

To Juju Jubilee

Juju Jubilee
CHIEF COMMANDER EBENEZER OBEY

(Shanachie)

There must be more to juju music than King Sunny Ade, I remember thinking during those heady days in the '80s when I started my love affair with African styles. Turns out there was, but not a whole lot for American consumption. Best was Obey, who predated Ade in the Nigerian genre. He and his large ensemble delivered the trademark undulating grooves that are carried by talking drums and interlocked trebly guitars, laced with soaring pedal steel forays. Airy harmonies issue the meandering, call-and-response melodies. Juju is deceptively gentle; as the songs unwind they become more roiling and insistent. To this day, it's high on my list of world-music genres.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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