Review: Formed in 1970 and fronted by J Plunky Branch, Oneness Of Juju have gone through numerous personnel and name changes over the decades but are still peddling their Afrocentric take on funk and jazz to this day (currently as Plunky & The Oneness). This collection from Strut, though, focuses on their golden years in the 70s - and it's heavy stuff! While one or two tracks would fit nicely into straight-up funk sets, adding a little world flava, others explore model jazz, spoken word, Nyabhingi drumming and other more esoteric musical pastures. Imagine yourself surrounded by righteous dashiki-wearing dudes at a Panthers meeting in 70s Harlem and you'll get the general vibe...
African Rhythms (45 version Parts 1 & 2) - (6:39) 113 BPM
Afrobeat - (3:57) 132 BPM
Review: It's third time around for this classic album, which Strut first reissued back in 2002. The band known at different times as Juju, Oneness Of Juju, Plunky & The Oneness Of Juju and eventually just Plunky & Oneness have been an institution on the funk, soul and jazz scene from the early 70s right through till the current decade, but this their debut long-player from 1975 arguably captures their distinctive blend of funk, jazz and Afro influences at its rawest and most hard-hitting. This release also now includes the slightly different single version of the title track, plus bonus cut "Afrobeat".
Lon Moshe & Southern Freedom Arkestra - "Doin' The Carvin' For Thabo" - (5:35) 142 BPM
Wayne Davis - "Look At The People!" - (5:10) 131 BPM
Southern Energy Ensemble - "Third House" - (6:59) 126 BPM
Oneness Of Juju - "African Rhythms" (live In Washington DC, 1975) - (7:43) 113 BPM
Okyerema Asante - "Follow Me" - (5:34) 96 BPM
Experience Unlimited - "People" - (6:09) 143 BPM
Review: Founded out of Washington DC in the 1970s and running through until the early-'90s, Black Fire was a go-to label for all things spiritual in jazz, funk and soul; grounded in African rhythms, dialogue, funk and go-go. Inspiring a generation alongside like Strata-East and Tribe, Black Fire Records is responsible for delivering us the highest order of Oneness Of Juju material, while working with and introducing the likes of saxophonist Byard Lancaster, Ghanaian percussionist Okyerema Asante, Southern Energy Ensemble, and music drama troupe Theatre West. Also included in Strut's retrospective is the Experience Unlimited's soul and gospel number "People", the frenetic, hot summer jazz of Lon Moshe & Southern Freedom Arkestra and some alternative disco rhythms of "Look At The People!" by Wayne Davis. Our Pick: "African Rhythms (live In Washington DC, 1975)".