King" Sunny Adé (born Sunday Adeniyi, 22 September 1946) is a Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and a pioneer of modern world music. He has been classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.
Quite possibly the most beautiful and influential West African record ever released internationally, Juju Music remains a revelation. With a phalanx of electric guitars that functions like a percussion section, and talking drums that sound like a gossipy Greek chorus, Nigerian juju star King Sunny Ade and His African Beats, all 20 of them, proved that African music could be as complex, dramatic, and symphonic as any European ensemble. Some thanks must go to French producer Martin Meissonier, who took the basic elements of Ade's sound–unison guitars, Yoruban drumming, seamless song medleys, and self-reflexive lyrics–and added a diverse assortment of Jamaican production techniques to heighten, deepen, and psychedelicize a sound that, with Ade's deliciously sweet vocals and the haunting strains of Demala Adepoju's Hawaiian steel guitar, was plenty wild to begin with. A masterpiece
A cerebral soul-jazz trio gives up some art and some funk with guest horn players and guitarist Marc Ribot. They call it "Shuck It Up," and rightly so, since they're neither as dissonant nor as ironic as many of their peers playing around downtown New York City. But that doesn't explain why these three don't swing as hard playing Monk, Coltrane, and King Sunny Ade as they do laying down their own earnest grooves and dismantling Bob Marley for mixing up with the Monk. Whether it's insecurity, indifference, or the physical chops they haven't developed to match their minds is for demanding listeners to decide. Or else it's all the same dilemma and will go away with time, just like the band's slow tunes.
The back cover reads:
Many people in Africa and the United States know me as the voice that wakes Africa up every morning on the radio from London, with a show called "Network Africa" on the BBC World Service. What they don't know is that music came into my life first at home in Sierra Leone – in the church choir, and later in college, studying the appreciation of music. So here is the other side of me. As my Swahili friends would put it: Hakuna Kisicho Wezekena. Thanks be to God.