Spinning Fela Kuti’s proto-Africa 70 band, Koola Lobitos, for an upcoming program, I was reminded of just how seminal, loose (and great) this period of his career arc can be. And if you only know the more politically charged Fela of the 70s/80s, I highly recommended exploring Kuti’s–vastly different–sixties output. Like any massive bandleader, from Miles to James Brown, you eventually begin to trace the individual players in the group, session or otherwise. It was this path, digging into the Koola Lobitos years, that initially led me to The Don Isaac Ezekiel Combination.
Made up of three former members of Kuti’s sixties outfit, the band went on to cut a number of sides that are (at present) most readily found gracing a number of Nigerian compilation released over the past 5-6 years; namely Miles Cleret’s Soundway Records‘ Nigeria Special series and Strut Records‘ own Nigeria 70. Taste, below.