Sunday, 23 December 2012

Remi Kabaka – Black Goddess OST

Long out of print soundtrack of experimental afro-jazz from 1978. A fine vintage!

Black Goddess is a 1978 movie written and directed by legendary Nigerian director Ola Balogun. The soundtrack music is getting a stand alone release courtesy of the good folks at Soundway Records.

So how does the soundtrack stand up on its own without the accompanying visuals? Pretty well actually. Comprising of six extended instrumentals, all composed by one of Nigeria's top session musicians of the day, Remi Kabaka, it opens with “Brothers and Sisters”, a chirpy, clavichord driven groove with a jazzy sax solo.

The album really hits its stride though with the following track “The Quest”. Beginning with a plaintive and searching saxophone before the rest of the band join in. Although the band only comprises of four members there's plenty going on within the track's tight, repetitive polyrhythmic grooves; african drums, bass and keys all locking in tightly to provide a bedrock for the sax to take full flight.

“Slave March” contains a sadness and slower tempo that its title suggests, with call and response keys over a taut and popping bass line. Title track and album highpoint “Black Goddess” contains a siren-like swing atop tribal drums, with both tenor and soprano sax providing soaring solos.

“The Quest (Piano solo)” reprises the earlier tune on ghostly electric piano, before the percussive album closer “The Warrior” lets the talking drums have the final word.