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McNeal and Miles – Thrust – New LP
We Are Busy Bodies Records (Canada)

McNeal and Miles – Thrust – New LP

Regular price $ 30.00 $ 0.00
A track about an African king recorded in the back of a car wash.

  
At the makeshift Man-Ray Studios in Akron, Ohio, where barrels of soap were rolled away to make room for recording, guitarist Wilbur Niles and his then-girlfriend — keyboardist Machelle McNeal — recorded “Ja Ja.” It was titled after King Jaja of Opobo in Nigeria, who lived during the 19th century, rising from slavery to become a wildly successful broker of palm oil.  Niles learned about Jaja as an undergrad majoring in history; humid and dreamy, it would lead off the pair’s first and only album together, 1979’s rawly-produced Thrust. It begins with an elliptical little electric-piano hook by McNeal, an accomplished musician without much jazz experience, accompanied by wind sounds. The effect is of sparkles of sunlight through an otherwise dense sheet of fog.  Even when “Summer Fun” goes for a four-on-the-floor feeling, the mid-fidelity production renders it diaphanous. 

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