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Soul Jazz Records’ new Nigeria Freedom Sounds! features a stunning selection of material spotlighting the vibrant musical scene in Nigeria at the start of the 1960s. With a wealth of musical and cultural history and newly independent from Britain, Nigerian music during this era was complex, diverse and forward-thinking, with musicians as excited in exploring their country’s own musical lineage with styles such as Juju and Apala as they were in adapting and absorbing outside influences such as Ghanaian Highlife, Caribbean Calypsos and Mambo and more.
This album features many of the defining artists of this time who helped shape the Nigerian musical scene. Artists include I.K. Dairo and his Blue Spots, Haruna Ishola and his Group, E.C. Arinze, Sammy Akpabot and His All Stars, Godwin Omobuwa and his Soundmakers, Ganiyu Kale and His Guinea Mambo Orchestra and many more.
Few nations on earth are as diverse as Nigeria, and the wide assortment of Nigerian music styles collected on this album reflect the country’s rich variety of cultures. Western-influenced dance music, played on European instruments such as guitar, brass, and woodwind sits alongside traditional musical styles, made with indigenous instruments such as the talking drum, marimba, or obo. And there is also religious musical styles first brought to Nigeria by European Christians and Islamic traders from North Africa. And of course, there are points where these musical styles overlap, merging into one another to create unique new sounds.