Nkem Njoku & Ozzobia Brothers, Ozobia Special
1LP - BBE
International : Economic, Standard, Express
1. Ozobia Special
2. Ofu Obi (Onye Achuna Uwa Nike)
3. Osula Nwa Eje Ubi Eje Oba
1. Ije Eluwa
2. Akwa Obi
3. Egwu Oyoliba
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.