Motown meets West Africa. This self-titled 1980 debut album by Eboni Band features Motown session musicians, producer and arrangers.
Reinventing itself as a record for the ages, a tour-de-force of cross continental soul and funk, it features session musicians from Motown and Ivory Coast’s Eboni Records alongside Fred Wesley (James Brown/Parliament). It was produced by Art Stewart (producer of Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up and Rick James’ breakthrough album, Come Get It!), and arranged by Greg Middleton.
Incorporating the horns and hum of Detroit and Motown with vocals, harmonies and traditions of West Africa (djembe, kora), the record was a product of a casual meeting between Motown Studios alumni Gerald Theus who had set up shop and Eboni Records in Ivory Coast in the 1970s and Abdoulaye Soumare who was based in the US but met with Gerald on a whim and a stopover in Abidjan.
Theus not only convinced Soumare to stick around Abidjan, but to immediately begin work on a series of four concurrent recordings by the label’s roster of local talent. It wasn’t long before a group of musicians flew from the Ivory Coast to Los Angeles to ‘get down’ and record with a sensational group of Motown musicians […]