African High Life

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African High Life
African High Life.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedApril 25, 1963
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewoood Cliffs, NJ
GenreHighlife, Afro-Cuban jazz, Hard Bop
LabelBlue Note
ProducerAlfred Lion

African High Life is the debut album by Nigerian drummer and percussionist Solomon Ilori recorded in 1963 and released on the Blue Note label.[1] The album was reissued on CD in 2006 with three bonus tracks recorded at a later session.


Allmusic awarded the album 4 stars and reviewer Brandon Burke stated "this is a very enjoyable if not essential album of traditional African highlife music set to dance tempos".[2] The All About Jazz review by Chris May called the original album "pleasant, if unspectacular, palm-wine highlife outings from the West African tradition, distinguished by some masterful drumming, but diminished by strangely inept alto saxophone contributions" but stated the bonus tracks "anticipate—with great brio and deep grooves—the astral jazz of the late '60s and early '70s, and the world jazz which has in turn followed".[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Solomon Ilori
  1. "Tolani (African Love Song)" – 7:44
  2. "Ise Oluwa (God's Work Is Indestructable)" – 5:39
  3. "Follow Me to Africa" – 5:29
  4. "Yaba E (Farewell)" – 5:30
  5. "Jojolo (Look at This Beautiful Girl)" – 7:17
  6. "Aiye Le (The Troubled World)" – 3:25
  7. "Gbogbo Omo Ibile (Going Home)" – 11:47 Bonus track on CD reissue
  8. "Agbamurero (Rhino)" – 13:54 Bonus track on CD reissue
  9. "Igbesi Aiye (Song of Praise to God)" – 13:22 Bonus track on CD reissue
    • Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 25, 1963 (tracks 1-6) and October 30, 1964 (tracks 7-9)



  1. ^ Blue Note Records discography accessed January 31, 2011
  2. ^ a b Burke, B. Allmusic Review accessed January 31, 2011
  3. ^ May, C. African High Life All About Jazz Review June 14, 2006