Various Artists - Afro Rock Vol.1Strut Records
Once again the folks at Strut records have dug up and dusted off a hidden gem. Afro Rock Vol.1 features hard to find music out of East Africa from the 60’s and 70’s. Originally released on Duncan Brooker’s Kona label in 2001, the music will now have a wider audience to educate on just how prominent the soul and funk scene was in the Motherland. Some of the talent to emerge during that scene is Gerado Pinto. Known as the Nigerian James Brown, Gerado and The Heartbeats bring the funk on the energetic organ grinding “Heavy Heavy Heavy”. On “Africa”, they bring the tempo down considerably and create a spirited jazz inspired gem. “Mebala” is a mid-tempo guitar driven funk track that is reminiscent of prominent rhythm sections of that era. Overall “Afro Rock Vol. 1” is an entertaining polyrhythmic blend of Afican rhythms and seventies soul influences. This is essential World music that shouldn’t be missed.
Reg Dancy, 08/10