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Aggie87

Solomon Ilori

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I was reading through a TOCJ insert earlier, and noticed this album, which I hadn't seen before. What's the story on this one? It doesn't seem like a typical Blue Note release, but it was recorded by RVG, with a Miles cover and everything. Is it worth seeking out? And is it available domestically, or just in TOCJ form?

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Solomon Ilori: African High Life

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As far as I know, only in TOCJ cd form. I've never heard this, and have wanted to. At one time I believe it was announced it would appear (about the same time as "African Beat") but it didn't, to my knowledge.

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It's an interesting African-rooted percussion date. Not really your BN typical but not an oddity either since BN was recording various African-inspired sessions (Art Blakey's 'Orgy in Rhythm' and 'Holiday for Skins' sessions and on a more latin-based percussion mood Sabu Martinez' 'Palo Congo' come to mind) at the time.

Solomon Ilori also appeared on another BN album: Art Blakey's 'The African Beat'.

Haven't given the Ilori 'African High Life' LP a spin in a long time.

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I had a college buddy who had it, and I remember it being very nice indeed. Not at all "jazz" or even "jazzy", but closer to what I suppose was called "High Life" back then, sort of semi-traditional "African" (like "European", too broad a term to really mean anything too terribly specific) party music with a few "popular" elemnts added on, but I don't know enough to say that definitively). I enjoyed it then, and I think I'd enjoy even more now.

Edited by JSngry

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If you like Blakey's African Beat - with Solomon Ilori playing a prominent role, you will like this one as well. For my knowledge, a good example of Nigerian Highlife Music, and very well recorded. I enjoy it.

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Thanks for the info! I haven't heard any highlife music that I'm aware of. In fact the Nigerian music in my collection is limited to some Fela and some King Sunny Ade, which is more in the juju/afrobeat camp than this appears to be.

I don't have African Beat yet either, so both are now on my want list.

Thanks,

Erik

Edited by Aggie87

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And is it available domestically, or just in TOCJ form?

Wasn't there a US reissue in the Afro/Cuban etc. roots series, or was that Blakey's African Beat - I suppose it rather was the latter.

Amazon.com has a track list from a Jimmy Smith TOCJ, so be careful when ordering!

Edited by mikeweil

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Thanks for the info!  I haven't heard any highlife music that I'm aware of.  In fact the Nigerian music in my collection is limited to some Fela and some King Sunny Ade, which is more in the juju/afrobeat camp than this appears to be. 

If you want to dig a little deeper into Juju music, I recommend this anthology:

B00000038C.01._PE_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg Rounder CD 5017

The late Babatunde Olatunji recorded several highlife albums for Columbia, with Clark Terry and other jazz soloists, currently they're only available on the Bear Family Box set - hurry for this one if you want it, it's deleted!

bcd15747.jpg

Edited by mikeweil

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I haven't heard this one but I am also intrigued by it. In reading the previous comments, I suspect that Randy Weston's Highlife session on Colpix is somewhat similar and this is one that I like very much.

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The Weston Colpix Lp is a lot jazzier, because it's jazz musicians playing jazz arrangements of (among others) some Highlife tunes, whereas Ilori's albumn is some African and some jazz musicians playing African music. You dig? B)

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Hi All,

I have this CD, and I dig it a lot. But, as Mike says, this is very different than Weston's session on Colpix. African High Life really is not a jazz album - and thus its inclusion on the Blue Note label is somewhat unique.

I'm glad Alfred recorded it, though. I really do dig it!

Cheers,

Shane

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Gave a listen to Solomon Ilori's BN album last night and really enjoyed it. Certainly different from standard BN fare. African Highlife it was. Guess it would be labeled World Music by now.

The musicians include the intriguing reed player Hosea Taylor who is featured on most numbers on altosax and flute. A fresh and authentic voice.

Taylor made another appearance on Blue Note when he took part in a March 1966 Freddie Hubbard session that was cut short after two tunes were recorded.

The two tracks were added to a CD reissue of Hubbard's 'Blue Spirits'. Hosea Taylor solos - on bassoon! - on 'True Colors. A farout solo that comes after a Hubbard improvisation and is followed by another farout solo by Joe Henderson.

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Hosea Taylor was a member of some of the Olatunji bands featured in the box set I mentioned above. But I'm afraid he's not a prominent soloist, most of the solos were given to more prominent players, most of them to Clark Terry.

Yusef Lateef, Budd Johnson, Bob Brookmeyer, Seldon Powell and Jerome Richardson are among the horns.

Olatunji often had jazz experienced players in the band, I have a rare Roulette LP with Pat Patrick and Marshall Allen, where they get a lot of solos.

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I am not a fan of high life music, but the reason I have the Blue Note Connoisseur CD is because of the three bonus tracks from a different session.  The three tracks add up to about 39 minutes, so it is like getting an additional album.  It is basically a jazz group - Donald Byrd, Hubert Laws, Elvin Jones, Bob Cranshaw, and a bunch of percussionists.  It is nicely recorded, with the bass centered (as usual with BN albums) and the percussionists spread out left and right.  

I wonder why this was left in the can.  Perhaps the fact that the three tracks couldn't be split into two 20-minute sides was a factor.  

I highly recommend this for the three bonus tracks.  As for the original album, YMMV.

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13 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I am not a fan of high life music, but the reason I have the Blue Note Connoisseur CD is because of the three bonus tracks from a different session.  The three tracks add up to about 39 minutes, so it is like getting an additional album.  It is basically a jazz group - Donald Byrd, Hubert Laws, Elvin Jones, Bob Cranshaw, and a bunch of percussionists.  It is nicely recorded, with the bass centered (as usual with BN albums) and the percussionists spread out left and right.  

I wonder why this was left in the can.  Perhaps the fact that the three tracks couldn't be split into two 20-minute sides was a factor.  

I highly recommend this for the three bonus tracks.  As for the original album, YMMV.

Totally agree with your evaluation of the music.  Could have made the sides 25:12 and 13:55, not horrible but not optimal.  Columbia was putting out 30 minute + Miles Davis album sides in the same era.

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25 minutes ago, felser said:

Totally agree with your evaluation of the music.  Could have made the sides 25:12 and 13:55, not horrible but not optimal.  Columbia was putting out 30 minute + Miles Davis album sides in the same era.

There are 2 other titles of unknown length... I'd love to see this issued by itself, the whole thing.

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