* Miliki Sound and Shango on vinyl LP *
1. Jo Jolo / 2. Boleya Koya / 3. Iya La Jole / 4. Ijo Olomo / 5. Elelzy / 6. Gyinmi Komo
Originally released in 1975 via Sonny Robertsʼ Orbitone label, Miliki Sound is an album by Peter King, Nigeriaʼs most talented multi-instrumentalist, highlighting his unique blend of Afrobeat, Highlife, jazz and funk. As King remarked in later life Miliki Sound was his attempt to escape being tied down following a string of albums for the label by delving into his own Afrojazz fusion. Making little impact in his homeland, the album was particularly well received in America and Europe, increasing Kingʼs popularity.
As with his other releases from the same period, Miliki Sound was entirely composed, written and arranged by King. Upbeat and funky the albumʼs six tracks feature plenty of impressive displays of Kingʼs saxophone skills, the instrument for which he was perhaps best known, alongside a talent for arrangement that plays the funk of the groove against the accompanying instruments and Nigerian chants. You only need to listen to Jo Jolo, Ijo Olomo or Gyinmi Komo to see why Kingʼs Afrojazz approach, a blend of modern jazz with highlife as the basis, has proven so popular and continues to endure for over three decades.
1. Shango / 2. Prisoner Of Law / 3. Mr Lonely Wolf / 4. Freedom Dance / 5. Go Go's Feast / 6. Mystery Tour / 7. Now I'm A Man / 8. Watusi
Shango by Peter King is an album loaded with history. Originally recorded in 1974 in a Camden studio session funded by money from a TV soundtrack recorded by King a few years earlier, it remained unreleased for close to 30 years despite King releasing five albums in the years that followed, the band touring America, Europe and Japan and King establishing himself in the West as one of Nigeriaʼs finest multiinstrumentalist. It finally saw release in 2002 by which point King had returned to his homeland to found the Peter King College of Music and continue his lifelong dedication to seeing “how far I can go with Highlife fusion.”
Musically the album is equally loaded. Headed by King, who wrote and played saxophone and flute, the band included David Williams on bass, Paul Edoh on congas, James Menin on drums, Arthur Simon on guitar, Mike Falana on trumpet and Humphrey Okoh-Turner on alto sax. Together they fused funk, jazz and afrobeat and added hard-hitting vocal messages including calls for freedom in Africa – album closer Watusi is about the struggle for freedom and democracy in Angola during the 1970s – and references to African history and the Yoruba religion. Shango is the foremost Yoruba deity, god of thunder and storms, and on this album his energy is clearly channelled into the horn lines and devastating grooves found throughout the eight tracks.
Having stood the test of time for close to 40 years, Shango is a lost classic and one of Kingʼs finest, most refined works. It is being re-issued by Mr Bongoʼs Classic African Recordings series.
Fully reproduced original artwork and heavyweight vinyl.