Explosive King Sunny Ade

King Sunny Ade

Bábá mo Túndé (Mesa/IndigeDisc 2147, 2010)

Nigerian musician King Sunny Ade is a legend in his country. For decades he has been exposing international audiences to the thrilling sounds of Juju music, a musical genre that mixes explosive Yoruba musical traditions with western pop elements. The live versions of King Sunny Ade’s music includes captivating lengthy jams that last up to 6 hours with lyrics that include poetry, praise and social critique.

His latest recording is Bábá mo Túndé, which is his first international release in over a decade. It’s a double album that showcases his unmistakable vocals and electric guitar work combined with a spectacular rhythm section where talking drums are the dominant force. Rasaki Aladokun and Nojeem Alani Ayangoke play some of the best talking drum beats I’ve heard in recent years.

Bábá mo Túndé shows us a more realistic vision of King Sunny Ade. This time western ears are treated to longer pieces, including the 31:02 cut titled Bábá mo Túndé, on disc 2 (which also comes in a remix version). IndigeDisc has been respectful and did not cut the pieces into radio friendly shadows of themselves, which is greatly appreciated.

Nigerian music is the wellspring,” King Sunny Ade explains, “but my music brings people together, no matter where they are from. Everybody can give thanks and dance. That’s what my music is all about, peace and enjoyment.”

Bábá mo Túndé is an irresistible Juju party organized by one of the legends of contemporary African music.

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