Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Navigating the Boundary Between Highlife and Jùjú

There's been a lot of good jùjú on the Internets lately - from Comb & Razor here and here, Worldservice here and here, and at Snap, Crackle & Pop here - so I figured why shouldn't I get into the act? Besides, it's been a while since I posted some good old Yoruba Soul Music.

I can tell you very little about Ade Wesco and his Destiny Dandies. Wesco rates a brief entry in Ronnie Graham's The World of African Music (Pluto Press/Research Associates, 1992) where his sound is described as ". . . highlife enriched with traditional percussion and distinctly Yoruba vocals." The label of his LP Aye Wa Adun (Ibukun Orisun Iye MOLPS 35, 1976) describes the contents as "jùjú," and judging by that album at least (the only one by him I've heard, although he released a number of others) his music is a true synthesis of the two styles, much like that of Orlando Owoh.

Be that as it may, you can decide for yourself. Here's the album in full. It's fine, fine stuff:

Ade Wesco & his Destiny Dandies - Aye Wa Adun/Adun ni Gbehin Ewuro/Ibukun Orisun Iye/Tiwa ni Tiwa

Ade Wesco & his Destiny Dandies - Ogo ni Fun Baba Loke/Irawo Wa Ntan Loke/A Dupe Baba Wa/Bayi Loda/Amariran Wo/Oniyeye


icastico said...

It has indeed been juju-licious on the internets recently.

And that's a good thing.

adriana said...

just saying hi
you're blog is very nice!
you can visit my blog whenever you want!


Goofy said...

Hi! I have been following your blog for some time now and have downloaded practically everything. It is difficult to find good african music here in Finland so your blog is a MUST for me. Thanks for all the fascinating music and keep posting more.

Mike Janssen said...

Yup, gotta second the props -- I just started reading your blog recently and have loved the tunes. Great stuff.


Comb & Razor said...

Hmmm... Yeah, this is pretty reminiscent of Owoh's sound!

Anonymous said...

Ade Wesco belted out a number of groovy tunes in the mid 70s to early 80s, giving Orlando Owoh a run for the money as most of the songs were in the style (tunes) that made Orlando a hosehold name in the early 1970s. The recording companies, I suspect also tried to generate controversies between Wesco and Owoh which helped Wesco's career as well. In the end, Owoh's talents as a singer and composer confirmed his glaring superiority even though the musical backup for Wesco was quite good and rivalled Owoh's. Owoh was just too versatile compared to Wesco and I suspect Ade's music became too boring for many highlife/juju fans in the end. Please post more Ade Wesco songs if you have them as his group was quite good in their days as well, just not up to the level of the master!

Bellemskey said...

Sweet sweet Asiko/Palmwine Highlife Music.... Wesco was formerly with Owoh's band i'm told, but left to form his own band.... But Owoh appeared to be more versatile in his compositions and lyrical diction. This made Owoh the undisputed master, leaving Wesco to only be remembered in the context and shadow of Owoh..... Until his death, Owoh remained the king of this classic genre of Highlife music styled Asiko by Owoh himself...

Bellemskey said...

Hi John, please do you have any of the works of Bala Miller.... If you do, pls dp us the pleasure of posting it here.... Cheers...

Anonymous said...

Wesco was indeed in Owoh's band for a while. This album's most known one. The band had moderate success in the 70's. I seem to recall seeing his band's van laden with instruments on the way to a gig in Ibadan in the late 70's. Wonder what ever happened to them

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