Juju – Chapter Two: Nia (1974) Strata- East – Black Fire 24/96khz vinyl


JuJu – Chapter Two: Nia

Originally released on
Strata-East – SES-7420 in 1974
This repressing, Black Fire Records (date unknown)

To find peace, you must BE it.
– Ngoma Ya Uhuru, “Complete the Circle”

1 Introduction 2:40
2 Contradiction (For Thulani) 5:10
3 Black Experience 3:44
4 Nia (Poem: Complete The Circle) 8:36
5 The End Of The Butterfly King (Poem: Things Comin’ Along) 6:10
6 Black Unity 15:58

Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Percussion – Plunky Nkabinde
Bells, Vocals,Poetry – Ngoma Ya Uhuru
Congas – Simbo
Drums, Congas, Whistle – Babatunde
Electric Bass – Phil Branch
Piano, Shekere, Percussion – Al-Hammel Rasul
Vibraphone, Percussion – Lon Moshe

Engineer – Tom Williams
Liner Notes – Thulani Nkabinde

Arranged by Plunky Nkabinde
Art Direction, Photography, Layout – Collis Davis

Recorded June, 1974 at Eastern Recording Studios, Richmond, Virginia

Video Playback Equipment: Center For Puerto Rican Studies, New York City

Video playback equipment?? I wish I know what that was all about. Presumably it involved some heady stuff at the The East, the collectively-run tiny jazz club / pedagogical outreach / Afrocentricity home base for so much great music that ended up released on the associated Strata-East record label. (The Center for PR Studies was and still is part of Hunter College and linked to the CUNY system).

“JUJU” was the name of the ensemble that would become the funk-jazz-fusion outfit known as ‘Oneness of Juju’. Their first two albums were made for the famed Strata-East label. The first one dipping from the well of free jazz outfits like the Art Ensemble of Chicago, while this album goes further into Afro-centric themes with layers and layers of percussion, a few unrelentingly-groove-based compositions, and poetry over a couple tunes, very much in the spirit of early 70s spiritual-jazz sociopolitical-revolutionary-love and political fire music. Their take on Pharaoh Sanders ‘Black Unity’ is frenzied — two electric bass guitars giving it a heavy fusion sound (although they are the only electric instruments featured). Drummer ‘Babatunde’ definitely has jazz chops but sometimes he sounds like Billy Cobham on on a tight budget, something about the way he tunes his kit and his heavy hands. The couple of drum solos he takes are a little weird to my ears but when all the rest of the percussionists kick in it starts to gel very nicely. You can actually hear the band transitioning from the more free-jazz, heavily AEoC-inspired first album to their leaner jazz-funk identify as Oneness of Juju, with this album acting as a spiritual bridge between them. The radical spaces created around The East saturate this album, and if anyone needed convincing that those messages are still relevant they need only open a newspaper or look out in the streets.

“A new day is coming. A new day is here. Seize the time … everything comes in time… I don’t believe in time. Only change. Change the time. It’s ours now brothers, sisters. It’s ours now if we use it. There is no time. Only rhythm and change. There is no time, only rhythm and change. Only change. Only change. Change.”

These Black Fire vinyl repressings are, like so many vinyl repressings, a bit inconsistent. You will definitely notice the surface noise in some of the quiet passages , which there is no way of removing without leaving digital artifacts much more offensive to the ear. But the majority of the album has the band playing fairly loud, and so the surface noise really doesn’t bother me much. If it bothers you, I’ll be happy to refund your money.

in 320 kbs

16-bit / 44.1 khz or 24-bit / 96 khz


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  1. password:

  2. A wonderful offering. My old vinyl slab is beat to spit. Thank you!

  3. Glad to help out, Gil! Hey, do you have an original press on Strata-East? That would make me jealous..

  4. Nice! Haven't this in ages (I probably have the same vinyl repress/bootleg as you), but it's a great one. Thank you!

  5. Wow great to hear again like this, thanks!

  6. thanks on a side note is there any (free)programme that will burn 24 bit files to a cdr or dvdr , my version of nero won't

  7. Hi Reza, do you want to burn a CD for *playing* or for archiving? Either way the fileset is too large for a CD-R. I know that 24-bit can be played off DVD as DVD-A, although since I only play them off my hard drive in Foobar I have never actually burned a disc for that purpose. (In fact I don't even own a DVD player or TV…) The free application I use for data archiving is http://cdburnerxp.se/en/home . I have used it to burn audio CDs as well although I usually prefer to burn using EAC

  8. Thanks for reply, I wished to burn a dvdr for playing in my dvd player ultimately and I do understand that its meant to be burnt as a dvd audio disc, but just can't seem to manage it, I cant get Nero to burn 24bit files , I'll check out the programme you use to see if that may 🙂

  9. Thank you very much, Flabbergast.

  10. This is wonderful – thank you.

  11. Anytime, glad you like it Holly 🙂

  12. Thank you very much!

  13. Hey Flabber, yes, my copy is indeed a Strata Beast!

  14. wow, just discovered this blog today and it's as cool as fuck. lots of great stuff within these pages. thanks so much for sharing such great stuff and in such hugh quality and so forth.

  15. hey Kratzersprung, I'll include this in the next batch of revivals. Sometime mid-week probably

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