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Pax Nicholas and The Nettery Family - Na Teef Know De Road Of Teef LP
A virtually unknown Afro-funk rarity, Na Teef Know de Road of Teef is the work of Fela Kuti sideman Nicholas Addo Nettey, featuring several of his Africa 70 bandmates and recorded at the same Lagos studio (run by Cream's Ginger Baker) where Kuti cut many of his prime '70s sides. It's no great surprise, then, that Kuti's output of this era is the obvious touchstone here, and Fela fans will find this material immediately familiar, right down to the format of the album: four lengthy, intricately rhythmic, jam-heavy grooves, alternating between gritty call-and-response vocals and extended instrumental passages. That said, these recordings feel particularly raw and stripped-down, sacrificing some of Fela's horn-heavy punch (even though there are certainly horns here, along with plenty of percussion) for a slinkier, burbling vibe, dominated throughout by a reedy organ that recalls the chicken-shack jazz-funk of Jimmy Smith and the Meters. Soulfully grooving, if sometimes more hypnotic than danceable, and handsomely presented with the eye-popping original sleeve art intact, Na Teef Know de Road of Teef makes a welcome addition both to the Daptone catalog and to the shelf of any discerning Afro-beat collector.