Artist: The Souljazz Orchestra
Title Of Album: Freedom No Go Die
Year Of Release: 2007
Genre: Acid Jazz / Funk / Afro-Beat
1. The Souljazz Orchestra - Mista President (6:36)
2. The Souljazz Orchestra - Blind Leading the Blind (3:27)
3. The Souljazz Orchestra - Insurrection (3:39)
4. The Souljazz Orchestra - Freedom No Go Die (5:48)
5. The Souljazz Orchestra - Mojuba (5:11)
6. The Souljazz Orchestra - Secousse Soukous (5:08)
7. The Souljazz Orchestra - Little Habana (5:03)
8. The Souljazz Orchestra - Mugambi (4:10)
9. The Souljazz Orchestra - Creator Has a Masterplan (7:34)
Legend has it that, in the mid-sixties, James Brown's exposure to West African highlife musicians, such as Orlando Julius and Tony Allen, led him to transform his already potent brand of soul into a new music now referred to as funk. Likewise, during his 1969 trip to the United States, Fela Kuti's introduction to American funk and soul, in particular the Godfather’s own music, compelled him to reshape his highlife jazz into a controversial new style he would call afrobeat.
Noticing this undeniable link, the Souljazz Orchestra thus decided to bridge the gap between the worlds of funk and afrobeat, all the while staying open to the exploration of related genres, from boogaloo to soul, from highlife to jazz. Combined with lyrics touching on politics and spirituality, the resulting music is raw and dirty afrofunk like you've never heard before.
Formed in 2002, the Ottawa-based band has since had the honour of sharing the stage with Femi Kuti, Dele Sosimi (of the Egypt 80), Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Etta James, Alpha YaYa Diallo, John Lee Hooker Jr., and more. The group has toured across the Canadian nation, from Halifax's Atlantic Jazz Festival to Calgary’s Afrikadey. Now, with international dates in the works, the Souljazz Orchestra is set to bring its earthquaking afrofunk sound to the rest of the world.
The group released its latest album, Freedom No Go Die, in September of 2006. This high-energy release features the vocal stylings of Rwandan/Burundian musician Mighty Popo, as well as those of soul sisters Marielle Rivard and Alanna Stuart. The album has since created quite a stir on the international DJ scene: "firing horns, funky keyboards and polyrhythmic beats to rock dance floors" enthused Straight No Chaser, "a sound as tight as the power fists that adorn the cover" raved Exclaim. IDJ has also sung the album’s praises: "A marching groove and firing horns evoke not only the spirit of a certain Mr. Anikulapo-Kuti, but also a packed shrine going nuts. Amazing stuff." The listeners of Gilles Peterson’s BBC radio show actually voted the album’s opening track, Mista President, as one of the top ten tracks of the year.