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

ORCHESTRA DE LA PAILLOTE Volume 1 Album Cover Volume 1
ORCHESTRA DE LA PAILLOTE
5.00 | 2 ratings
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BALLA ET SES BALLADINS "Objectif Perfection" (aka Reminiscin' In Tempo With Balla Et Ses Balladins)
BALLA ET SES BALLADINS
5.00 | 2 ratings
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OSIBISA Woyaya Album Cover Woyaya
OSIBISA
4.45 | 4 ratings
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FELA KUTI Sorrow Tears and Blood Album Cover Sorrow Tears and Blood
FELA KUTI
4.43 | 4 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 Open & Close Album Cover Open & Close
FELA KUTI
4.33 | 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 | 2 ratings
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OSIBISA Osibisa Album Cover Osibisa
OSIBISA
4.00 | 4 ratings
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FELA KUTI Expensive Shit Album Cover Expensive Shit
FELA KUTI
4.00 | 4 ratings
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FELA KUTI Zombie Album Cover Zombie
FELA KUTI
4.00 | 3 ratings
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FELA KUTI Shuffering and Shmiling Album Cover Shuffering and Shmiling
FELA KUTI
4.00 | 2 ratings
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FELA KUTI Beasts of No Nation Album Cover Beasts of No Nation
FELA KUTI
4.00 | 2 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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african fusion Music Reviews

NÉRIJA Blume

Album · 2019 · African Fusion
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snobb
Big expectations are not always a great thing. Young London-based septet with unusual(at least for English scene) name Nérija are playing around London for a half of decade and already has one release in a market - self released EP coming from 2016. All-female band with interesting guitarist of Ghanaian roots Shirley Tetteh and rising British scene star reedist Nubya Garcia on board among others sounded at their best as new growing scene leaders.

Just released "Blume" is band's first full size album so no strange lot of ears waited for the day it be released. After repeated listening I still have a mixed feeling about their debut.

With minimal line-up changes (they got a new bassist and first male member Rio Kai instead of Inga Eichler) their music sounds a bit different. Massive brass coming from four-piece reeds section on the front gives solid orchestral feel, they still play same successful mix of Caribbean/African rhythms and big band orchestrations with some nice trumpet and sax solos.

The main problem is probably they went too safe on their debut. Sound is pretty rounded and soft, really comfortable and quite ... teeth-less. London's young jazz scene doesn't offer lot of inventions, best artists there re-vitalize some best jazz and related music from the past but do it with youngish enthusiasm and often in non-compromise way. Jazz fans from allover the world follow new music coming from there mostly because of that. Nérija with their debut album made a safe step often sounding more like Cape jazz from 60s than today's Londoners.

Their signature guitar sound over reeds is less groovy and mixed more on the back, that's a pity. Nubya Garcia's tenor sax is under-exploited, on her own works as well as on her other collaborations Nubya's sax very often pumping the blood in musical texture, here her sound is presented only in minimalist way.

Still really a pleasant music, just probably oriented a bit more towards ageing fans of 70s jazz orchestras than to young generation of today's jazz fans.

MAISHA Welcome To A New Welcome

Live album · 2016 · African Fusion
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snobb
Looking from the few years distance on what were a roots of amazing London young jazz scene of today, Maisha's debut requires bigger attention. SE London sextet led by drummer Jake Long plays live on this short release and they do it really well.

Everyone familiar with spiritual jazz legacy from 60s and 70s will easily hear in their music Pharoah Sanders soulful tunes, Alice Coltrane meditative beauty and John Coltrane ecstatic sax soloing. Just three songs but the listener gets enough to jump in that spiritual jazz magic known from the decades ago once again.

It happened for me to listen Pharoah Sanders playing his old songs just a few years ago (yes, he is really popular again, at least in Europe), and it was a great possibility to touch a legend. Still, he sounds now more like a history even if there are already a generation of two who never heard his name before. Maisha play his music (or music which was his and some others almost half a century ago)in a way that makes this music sounding actual again. For young listeners just founding their jazz the band brings that spirit and a beauty of jazz often as a very new experience.

Quite relaxed compositions are all beautiful, with strong jazz roots(post-bop)influence but at the same time scented with African rhythms and enough catchy for being accepted by non-jazz listeners. Sax player Nubya Garcia delivers solos Pharoah himself would be proud of(soon after she will leave starting extremely successful solo career) and participation of electric guitarist Shirley Tetteh injects true blood to this beautiful musical body.

Maisha will release their full-size debut album in 2018 on Gilles Peterson's Brownswood Recordings with wider distribution and stronger support but everyone interested in best new London's jazz could be interested in listening to their first release - this small album is worth to be heard.

SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS Wisdom of Elders

Album · 2016 · African Fusion
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snobb
"Wisdom Of Elders" has been recorded by London's new jazz scenes' leading figure reedist Shabaka Hutchings in one day without rehearsals in Johannesburg, South Africa with leading domestic musicians (stated as Ancestors).

As with Hutching's other projects, music here sounds not nostalgic but very modern. Oppositely different from over-exploited Afro-beat, "African" part of the program comes from what some decades ago was known as "Cape jazz" - relaxed soulful melodic songs well known from Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) music. Half-a-century ago this music reached to England with a wave of South African jazz musicians, running from apartheid(Louis Moholo, Johnny Dyani,etc) and was adapted as part of British avant-garde jazz of the time.

Other significant element of album's music comes from Shabaka's Caribbean background. It's really impressive how organically both parts fit producing beautiful mix of blues, calypso, spiritual jazz and elegant Cape jazz rhythms.

Released three years ago "Wisdom Of Elders" is another cornerstone of burgeoning London's young jazz scene.

SAM MANGWANA Lubamba

Album · 2016 · African Fusion
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Matt
Sam Mangwana has lived, played and sang Rumba right through the golden period of African music accompanying and packing stadiums with Franco Luambo’s TPOK Jazz throughout the seventies to the early eighties and prior with Tabu Ley Rochereau in the late sixties in his African National Fiesta with another stint to follow in the late seventies with him. Considered one of the elder statesman of African music pertaining more to the Central area with his take on Congolaise music with touches of Angolan and Zimbabwean at times thrown in from his parents birth place one could say he pretty much had done it all within this genre with the popularity to go with it. Although Sam was in Franco’s TPOK Jazz and Tabu Ley’s band Afrisa he was still doing solo material and releasing his own albums as well with his second one giving him the big hit “Maria Tebbo” in 1982 albeit his biggest one with Franco was still to come in the same year being “Cooperation” ( Odongo). Still within all these bands and solo material Sam Mangwana has been far from one dimensional with Rumba being his staple and later heading towards a not so hard Soukous Sound as well as taking on Caribbean rhythms, Acoustic albums but in his later material he has returned to his Rumba roots which is what the majority of “Lubamba” contains with a beautiful laid back palm tree sound added with a slight Caribbean influence included.

It’s the album ‘s title track “Lubamba” with the horns opening within this Rumba having Sam’s smooth vocals to follow with mentions to his native Africa throughout with a delightful guitar solo placed within the song. The following “Felicite” the tempo picks up slightly with more of that beautiful Rumba guitar taking the song to a chorus with a beautiful guitar input. “Juventude Actual” based on today’s youth and sung in Portuguese has another African statesman present being the great Cameroon saxophonist Manu Dibango included within the song’s predominant guitar Latin influence with Manu just providing sax throughout the chorus and the addition of a beautiful solo included but no vocals with just Sam doing that job within this number. The tempo and bounce picks up for “Georgeta Marcory” with that Sam swing included and the following song has an electronic keyboard opening for “Luvueso” which quickly is put to the side for more of that Rumba guitar and great African chorus. “J.B. Kavungu”, “Lokossa Yo Nzombo”, Luzingu Ke Novela Ko” are the last three of the eight songs included and all are Rumba based of course within this delightful album keeping up the Tropical theme.

He has come a long way from singing in The Salvation Army choir as a child in Kinshasa up until today and I for one was pleased to see a new release from Sam Mangwana as I have always loved his take on Congolaise music with all its swing. It has been a long break for fresh material from Sam as his last prior album was “Cantos De Esperanca” in 2003 with only reissues that have followed to the release of “Lubamba” in 2016. Still the album is good but really it is for the fans and if you are looking for Soukous you won’t find any here just the old beautiful Rumba influence but really, Sam actually does not have a lot to say that’s new.

ORCHESTRA DE LA PAILLOTE Volume 1

Album · 1968 · African Fusion
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Matt
There had been 3 compilation albums released in 1967 with Guinean orchestra’s and artists prior to this release in the sixties but this actually is the first number in the Syllart’s label catalogue (SLP 1) “Orchestra De La Paillote Vol 1", The band actually was one of two at the very beginning which had morphed from one big Orchestra during this time of change in Guinean music which started after independence in 1958 when Sekou Toure came to power and as he said ‘if you can’t play the music of one’s own country then one should stop playing altogether”. One of the bands was led by Balla Onivogui later recognised as the leader of the legendary Balla Et Se Balladins and for this one it was Keletigui Traore who led “Orchestra De la Paillote” named after the Paloitte where they played but in the sixties the band changed their name to “Keletigui Et Ses Tambourinis”. The basis on how many of these songs were composed was using Traditional material, Cuban music and Jazz which became the backbone for so many West African orchestras with Bembeya Jazz to become the leader of this music style. Here for this release “Orchestra De la Pailotte’ as they were known at that time we have the beginning of modern West African music containing many a beautiful and delightful piece contained within this essential album from the late 1960’s.

The Cuban based “Diarby” get things going beautifully with the required groove and superb guitar input with Balla Et Se Balladins doing this one as well on their upcoming “Jardin De Guinea” release but listening here you will know that Orchestra De la Paillote had the best. The following “Mariama” the trumpet rules the chorus with Kante Manfila’s vocals with excellent support from Kerfal Camara on trumpet with this song becoming one the band’s classics. The more up tempo “Nadia’ follows with more superb trumpet and a totally delightful saxophone solo from Keletigui Traore included. The beat and groove keep coming within “Mone Magnin” but the following slow Cuban timed “La Guinee Moussolou” being a homage to Guinean women who helped rebuild the country sung by Kante Manfila with some stunning repetition in the vocal chorus and some absolutely gorgeous saxophone and guitar accompaniment with the band following in is another album highlight. More up tempo groove in “Nankoura” and “Wouyamagnin” with the later being my pick containing great percussion. The delightful “Orchestra Paillote” follows which will have you tapping your foot in amongst the horns in this self explanatory song title with “Bandian” next and it is another of those slow greasy Cuban burners “N’Djiguinira” to finish off this all time African Music Classic in that reminiscing manner.

Of course you need this! Total West African Classic!

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