Eboni Band - S/T – New LP
While many outings from this era fused the current styles of these two continents, this one has its own thing going, coming out of the African/American musical fusion of past decade (and past centuries), but also connected with this specific year: 1980. While it's important to recognize the overall influences, it's also important to recognize the talented people who created the music: this is their music, and shows what they were into at this time. This also help reveal the African elements in the music of this era, music that informed so much that followed. The majority of the recordings focus on the funk, but each side ends with a more reflective mid-tempo number. The African involvement show up with various degrees on funky numbers, and become especially dominant on the slower numbers. The last cut is as cool as a sea breeze swaying a hammock, which helps make the album like a journey, from the neon-lit dance floors of American cities to the warm sands of African shores. -- winch (green noise)
41 years since its original release, Eboni Band's self-titled album receives its first ever re-release by Canadian label We Are Busy Bodies on June 18.
Reinventing itself as a record for the ages, a tour-de-force of cross continental soul and funk, it features session musicians from Motown and Ivory Coast's Eboni Records alongside Fred Wesley (James Brown/Parlimanent). It was produced by Art Stewart (producer of Marvin Gaye's Got To Give It Up and Rick James’ breakthrough album, Come Get It!), and arranged by Greg Middleton.
Incorporating the horns and hum of Detroit and Motown with vocals, harmonies and traditions of West Africa (djembe, kora), the record was a product of a casual meeting between Motown Studios alumni Gerald Theus who had set up shop and Eboni Records in Ivory Coast in the 1970s and Abdoulaye Soumare who was based in the US but met with Gerald on a whim and a stopover in Abidjan.
Theus not only convinced Soumare to stick around Abidjan, but to immediately begin work on a series of four concurrent recordings by the label’s roster of local talent. It wasn't long before a group of musicians flew from the Ivory Coast to Los Angeles to 'get down' and record with a sensational group of Motown musicians including James Brown’s bandleader Fred Wesley, Nolan Smith (Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder), Ernie Fields, Jr (Rick James, Marvin Gaye), and Quentin Dennard (Aretha Franklin, BB King). The musicians comprised of the four musical groups signed to the Ivory Coast-based Eboni Records were Mamadou Doumbia, Gun Morgan, Amadou Doukoure, Abdoulaye Soumare, Lamine Konte & Fode Drame). The album was later mastered at Motown's Hitsville Studios.
Remastered reissue of Eboni Band's sole 1980 album. Originally released by Eboni Records. Produced by Art Stewart (Marvin Gaye, Rick James, Teena Marie).
Remastered by Noah Mintz. Limited to 1,000 copies.