Nkem Njoku & Ozzobia Sound’s one and only album, Ozobia Special, is an early 80s Igbo Highlife masterpiece, drawing on Ghana Highlife as well as traditional Ogene 6/8 bell tempos.
Nkem Njoku’s only album as leader, this LP epitomizes the feel-good, gospel-tinged party atmosphere of Igbo Highlife, with John Kante’s soukous guitar scales interweaving the sharp sax/ trumpet line-up, which includes the legendary Ray Stephen Oche, whose two scarce albums with his band Matumbo are big afro-jazz collectors’ items, reissued several times over the years.
Percussion section includes the prolific Smart ‘Friday Pozo’ Thompson, whose session credits read like a ‘who’s who’ of contemporary West African music and include many gigs on Tabansi artists’ albums.
The razor-sharp production sound, as so often on the best Tabansi Highlife and boogie sessions, is down to multi-keyboardist Jake Sollo.
released May 1, 2020
Arranged By, Composed By, Lead Vocals, Percussion – Nkem Njoku
Backing Vocals – Judith Ezekoka, Kenny George
Bass – Isidore Modjo
Drums, Percussion, Congas – George Atomba
Engineer [Assistant] – Emma Kalu, Remi Njoku, T. Death
Engineer [Recording, Remix] – Abe Aaron, Tom O'Leary
Guitar – John Kante
Percussion – Chukwudi Nwafor, Friday Pozo
Percussion, Engineer [Assistant] – Candido
Piano – Sonny Enang
Producer, Arranged By, Engineer [Recording, Remix], Synthesizer [Prophet "V" & 1] – Jake Sollo
Saxophone – Ngoma
Trumpet – Kofi Adjololo, Ray Stephen Oche
Sometime after the Universal Robot Band and sometime before where we are now, a pair of DJ/promoter/whatevers, Pete Adarkwah
and Ben Jolly, ran a successful club night named after our eponymous song, playing a joyful mix of all they considered good. 'Wouldn't it be fun,' they mused, 'To release some of these tunes?' And so BBE (Barely Breaking Even) was born....more
supported by 12 fans who also own “Ozobia Special”
Just a note that I’ve had this in rotation since I bought it. I love finding these little micro-genres of awesome music. Thank you, Analog Africa, for taking the time to dig these up! \m/ The Defenestrator