Oneness Of Juju African Rhythms 1970-1982

This band has been much more successful as revived by DJs than it ever was as a working unit, so it's fitting that Strut should finally put together the definitive compilation. Oneness of Juju's biggest hit, "African Rhythms," has long been a staple of conscious dance floors, and this compilation is book-ended by two versions of it. For those who thought that song's highly American perception of African rhythms was rather pretentious, the rest of the album should change your views. Oneness of Juju turns out not to be one of the second-string acts on Strata East. Some of the playing, particularly lead saxophonist Plunky Branch, is truly inspired by Coltrane, in the best way: chops, spirituality and only a whiff of sentimentality. Tracks such as "Space Jungle Funk" speak for themselves. These are balanced by poetic recitations (nothing says 1970s like "Love Is") and heavier groove tracks such as "River Luv Rite" and "Plastic." All in all, there are plenty of spacious meta-African rhythms that still expand the mind some 30 years later. (Strut)