“Late Celestine Ukwu Special” by Ikenga Super Stars of Africa - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1977Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Even by their standards, two eighteen-plus minutes tracks was an epic offering, but they go through so many twists and turns that you never get the feeling that it’s dragging. “Late Celestine Ukwu Special” is a tribute to the Nigerian Highlife singer / musician / philosopher who had been tragically killed in a car accident in May of this year, a nice touch. I particularly care for the echoing / stuttering saxophone which steadfastly refuses to blow conventionally. Almost as if continuing Ukwu’s social message, “Ego Di Nogwu” on side 2 takes on the great philosophical money debate; it’s hard to come by but it’s not worth killing yourself over it, morally or physically. The phrase “we work to live, we don’t live to work” springs to mind. There was, however, a real life twist to this tale. Ikengas had been no strangers to having numerous personnel changes and defections over the years, usually down to matters of a financial nature, and recently another significant split had occurred after the band won a sizeable award from the Nigerian government for their performance earlier in the year at FESTAC ’77 in Lagos. Guitarist Aloysius Anyanwu was at least one of the group who left to join the Oriental Brothers, and subsequently went on to have a solo career. (note: you can download this out-of-print LP for free thanks to the tireless efforts of the Global Groove.)

The Jukebox Rebel

A [18:04] 6.5.png Ikenga Superstars of Africa - Late Celestine Ukwu Special (?) Africana
B [18:42] 6.9.png Ikenga Superstars of Africa - Ego Di Nogwu (?) Africana
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