African Fusion

Jazz music community with review and forums

The African Fusion genre at JMA is for music that combines traditional and current African and Caribbean music with jazz, fusion and RnB. Some of the musical styles found here include Afrobeat, Makossa, Juju, Rumba, Highlife, Calypso, South African Township and more.

Elsewhere on the site JMA also includes a separate Dub/Ska/Reggae genre, three different Latin Jazz genres, and a World Fusion genre for cultural hybrid music.

Ultimately, almost any style of substantive jazz music could be considered a form of African fusion.

african fusion top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

BALLA ET SES BALLADINS "Objectif Perfection" (aka Reminiscin' In Tempo With Balla Et Ses Balladins)
BALLA ET SES BALLADINS
4.95 | 3 ratings
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ORCHESTRA DE LA PAILLOTE Volume 1 Album Cover Volume 1
ORCHESTRA DE LA PAILLOTE
4.91 | 3 ratings
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OSIBISA Woyaya Album Cover Woyaya
OSIBISA
4.46 | 6 ratings
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FELA KUTI Sorrow Tears and Blood Album Cover Sorrow Tears and Blood
FELA KUTI
4.40 | 5 ratings
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KING SUNNY ADE Juju Music Album Cover Juju Music
KING SUNNY ADE
4.50 | 2 ratings
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FELA KUTI Zombie Album Cover Zombie
FELA KUTI
4.20 | 5 ratings
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FELA KUTI Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa 70 : Gentleman Album Cover Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa 70 : Gentleman
FELA KUTI
4.17 | 3 ratings
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CANNONBALL ADDERLEY The Cannonball Adderley Quintet ‎: Accent On Africa Album Cover The Cannonball Adderley Quintet ‎: Accent On Africa
CANNONBALL ADDERLEY
4.05 | 3 ratings
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MAISHA There Is A Place Album Cover There Is A Place
MAISHA
4.04 | 3 ratings
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OSIBISA Osibisa Album Cover Osibisa
OSIBISA
4.00 | 6 ratings
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SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS Wisdom of Elders Album Cover Wisdom of Elders
SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS
4.02 | 3 ratings
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SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS We Are Sent Here By History Album Cover We Are Sent Here By History
SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS
4.00 | 3 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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MAISHA There Is A Place

Album · 2018 · African Fusion
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Rexorcist
It's true that by this point, the world of spiritual jazz has been almost completely explored to its fullest potential. We've been all around the universe with it, from the highest reaches of space, to the psychedelia of Hindustani music and to the gloriously tribal sounds of African music. The later here is lightly replicated by English jazz band Maisha on theit debut album, There Is a Place.

Lemme tell you, I usually feel really good about a band that's able to replicate the vibes of an older group. This brings me back to my recent discoery of the genre tag "pizza thrash," which is used to describe modern thrash with an 80's feel. My mind immediately went to Havok. Maisha is a bit like that. I feel right back with the classic acts like Pharoah Sanders here, because the band's understanding of delivering a spiritual presence is practically perfect. From an atmosphere point, their debut probably rivals the power of Alice Coltrane's jazz AND new age classics. Having said that, I think the actual "compositions" here are more simple than the classics, and a little lackluster in comparison. The entire time I was soaking in the heavenly vibes, I also felt that the rhythms were ones I had heard before.

Maisha's got big things going for them if they keep up their strong presence and improve their imagination. This debut shows a lot of promise for this group and I'll be eagerly following their career from now on. This has a perfect presence about it, but it needs a bit more rhythmic flair.

HUGH MASEKELA Hugh Masekela & Siparia Deltones : Siparia to Soweto

Album · 2023 · African Fusion
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snobb
Renown South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela's posthumous album, "Siparia to Soweto", contains the recordings he made during his visits to the Caribbean isle of Trinidad in 2012-2016. Masekela recorded all of these songs with the leading domestic steel pans orchestra, Siparia Deltones, and now these songs are being released for the first time ever.

The album's opener, "The Meeting Place", invites the listener to a colorful world of Caribbean calypso, with Masekela singing and playing trumpet solos over the danceable steelpan pulsations. Song after song, the musicians demonstrate all of the kaleidoscope of Afro-Carribean styles, danceable and with sparkling energy.

Predominantly Caribbean (thanks to the steel pan sound and specific region rhythms), the album's music contains some songs with stronger South African township vibe (such as "Lady" or "Mae Mae"). Possibly, the main attraction to this album is how well the two different, but strongly related, musical cultures fit together showing their similarities, while demonstrating obvious differences.

Similar to many better albums of similar music, this warm, emotive and colorful fest of life is a true relief when the days become shorter and the sun is more and more a rare guest on the greyish North European sky and the first snowflakes indicate the winter is not too far away.

BOKANI DYER Radio Sechaba

Album · 2023 · African Fusion
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snobb
What starts as a contemporary r'n'b album, actually is a South African jazz-based multicultural mix, presented by new-generation South African pianist Bokani Dyer. Released on Gilles Peterson Brownswood Recordings, it sounds slicky and modern, some listeners possibly will be surprised if it is jazz at all.

Still, besides of some obviously funk and soul-influenced numbers, such as "Mogaetsho", "Move On" or opening ballad "Be Where You Are", there are true African jazz songs too, such as "Tiya Mowa", "Spirit People" and "Medu", and the post bop piece "Picturesque".

Some guest artists, such as vocalist Tomeletso Sereetsi from Botswana, who sings in the Setswana language, or American rapper Damani Nkosi, add even more colors to the music. Warm, brewed under South African sun, this album's music is accessible but not boring, like a lot of productions coming from the Brownswood label. It really sounded pretty good in a car on my road from Nice to Liguria over the Mediterranean coast last week.

CHELSEA CARMICHAEL The River Doesn’t Like Strangers

Album · 2021 · African Fusion
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snobb
Chelsea Carmichael is a Manchester-born and London-based tenor saxophonist who plays with such leaders of the modern London jazz scene as SEED Ensemble, Theon Cross and Joe-Armon Jones (and - as a part of Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra if you're less familiar with nowadays London's jazz scene). Still, the biggest influence on her debut's music comes from the album's producer and the London scene's leading cult personality, Shabaka Hutchings.

Soulful and dubby Jamaican spiritual jazz, often associated with different Hutchings' projects, is easily recognizable here. It wouldn't be a mistake to say that "The River Doesn’t Like Strangers" sounds like it has been recorded by a female version Shabaka Hutchings. Whereas Shabaka likes marching rhythms and attacking tempos, Chelsea plays slower, softer and and with more nuances.

"The River Doesn’t Like Strangers" is not battle hymns of Caribbean immigrants of Shepherds Bush and Peckham, it's more spiritual songs with strong reggae roots. On support, Chelsea has Sons Of Kemmet drummer Edward Wakili-Hick, Polar Bear bassist Tom Herbert and The Invisible guitarist Austria-born David Okumu. This strong band plays moody and catchy danceable music, really great at their best moments.

True, as with many of Shabaka's own albums, the music sometimes loses its direction or simply remains repeating rhythmic loops. Not a big fault for something that sounds like a ritualist soundtrack though. Strong debut on its own right, "The River..." makes one feel really curious what Chelsea will offer next.

ANTHONY JOSEPH The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running for Their Lives

Album · 2021 · African Fusion
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snobb
Caribbean-born, London-based poet, university professor and singer/musician Anthony Joseph is often tagged in adverts as "leader of the black underground" in London, but leaving the marketing tricks aside I would call him Caribbean immigrant's poetic soul.

His song lyrics split right by half between bitter-sweet melancholic rememberings dedicated to his native Trinidad and Tobago, and more dark, but still very artistic and beautiful in their own way, themes from Caribbean immigrants life in England.

Differently from cult figure Shabaka Hutchings, the true leader of younger wave of enormously popular new London street-wise Afrojazz, Joseph is too wise, too philosophical and not enough confrontational for being the leader of any underground.

It took three long years for me waiting for his new release after I've been so highly impressed by Joseph's previous one, "People Of The Sun"(2018) both recorded and live. All Joseph's albums work for me by the same way - after very first listening I feel ... slightly disappointed. Music sounds too simple, too predictable. Then after repeated listening it slowly grows on me in a progression. And quite soon it occupies my player for months, as it happened with "People Of The Sun", (it became my most often listened album during the last two years).

Oppositely to the above mentioned work, which happened to be massive double-vinyl longer than an hour long release, "The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives" is of classic single vinyl size, and I love this format more and more. At early days of digital technologies, 80+ minutes of regular CD album looked as huge advantage against thirty-something minutes of vinyl. But quite soon we all realized that increased space worked against the artists themselves. Trying to fill technically available free space of commercial recordings, labels and artists started adding a lot of not-so-mandatory material in their albums. As a result, really well edited containing no fillers album is a real rarity for a few decades, even speaking about the best artists' music.

So, we have here just six songs, each between four and ten minutes long. Characteristic soulful Caribbean jazz with simple but memorable melodies, knotted rhythms and not so simple arrangements. Less Latin, than previous work. Same working band with Jason Yarde on sax, percussionist Roger Raspail and Thibaut Remy on guitar among others. Shabaka Hutchings on sax as guest (Shabaka just released his own new album with his band "Sons Of Kemet" - similar Caribbean jazz with surprising amount of vocals, which is still more musical and less poetic work, compared to Joseph's newest release).

Same themes about Caribbean and immigrants' life in London. "Calling England Home" is an absolute peak, everything about Joseph's creation is concentrated there. Same bitter-sweet and melancholic atmosphere, balancing well between love, frustration and hope. Not really a new step - its just like watching another movie from a director you like and with actors you love.

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Artists with African Fusion release(s)

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