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Mombasa

Shango Over Devil's Moor: Live At Stagge's Hotel 1976

Review by Gary Hill

This is a cool live album. It's not progressive rock, but it is definitely fusion, and we generally land that under prog. There is a lot of world music built into the musical tapestry here. There is some rock and some funk and just a lot of great jazz here. The recording quality is pretty good, but at times the audience is too far up and the mix. Also, the band feels a bit distant on some of the mellower sections. Still, this is quite an entertaining, mostly instrumental, set.

Track by Track Review
Soletho (part 1)

Horns bring this into being. Then some serious drumming takes over as the cut moves forward. That holds it for quite a while. Then the horns are added to the mix as they continue, bringing more of a prog meets jazz texture.

Soletho (part 2)

We get some killer jazz grooves as this comes out of the previous tune. This is a lot of fun.

Soletho (part 3)

They really get incredibly exploratory on this section of the suite. It's a powerhouse jam for sure.

Soletho (part 4)

The percussion plays a bigger role on this part of the suite. It's another powerhouse jam with world music, jazz and even some rock elements at play. That said, it's more percussive than melodic, much of it landing under the heading of "drum solo."

Introduction

This is literally a two minute spoken part introducing the members of the band.

Makishi

The mix of rock, jazz and world music on this is very effective. This piece has great rhythmic and melodic elements. There is some pretty amazing drum work on this. The horn interplay later is classic, too.

Shango

This energized tune has a lot of rock music in the mix. Of course, it's not like the world music and jazz have gone away. It's another powerhouse fusion of sounds. By around the four minute mark they are into one of the coolest jazz jams of the set. Of course, this tune is almost eleven and a half minutes long, so we're nowhere near done by that point. Overall, this is a killer extended fusion jam.

African Hustle

The rhythm section starts this killer piece. Eventually they work it out into another killer fusion jam from there. This number is even longer than the previous one at close twelve and a half minutes of music. This stomper gets exceptionally intense as it works forward. Around the ten and a half minute mark we get a cool funky bass dominated movement. There are some annoying people talking during this section, particularly when it becomes just a bass solo.

Kenia

This piece is based very much on world music. It's not particularly long. It has some elements of space music. Overall, I'm glad this is a shorter one because it really doesn't do a lot for me. There are some vocals later in the piece, making this stand out as the only non-instrumental here.

Serengeti

I dig the jazz stylings that open this number. Lining up at a little over ten minutes, this is an extended jam that's mostly pure fusion. It has some great moments, but no huge shifts or turns.

Lopalop

There is some serious funk on this killer tune. I really love some of the funky stuff that we get later on this thing. It's actually one of my favorite numbers of the whole set. It's one of the most dynamic and effective songs here. That really says a lot, too.

 
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