Various Artists: Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993

ALBUM REVIEW

CHRIS MAY I 

The significance of this superb compilation is summed up by a fuzzy b&w photo inside the twenty-eight page accompanying booklet. It shows Oneness of Juju gathered round a twenty-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty in their hometown, Richmond, Virginia in 1976. You can just make out the expressions of optimism and, yes, patriotism on the quintet's faces. In summer 2020, a full forty-four years later, that vibe of hope is still invested in the future, not the present. It is a shameful, shocking state of affairs.

Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993 is a double album compilation of recordings issued by the Black Fire organization,..

Oneness Of Juju were amongst the hottest outfits of the era”

THE ART DESK

Reissue CDs Weekly: Oneness Of Juju - African Rhythms 1970-1982

Driving jazz, grooves, funk and electrifying percussion from James 'Plunky' Branch and Co

“These are African rhythms, passed down to us from the ancient spirits. Feel the spirits, a unifying force. Come on, move with the spirits. Stand up. Clap your hands. Groove with the rhythms. Get down. Get off.”

So begins “African Rhythms”, originally released in 1975 as the opening cut from an album of the same name by Oneness Of Juju. It was issued on Black Fire, their own label.

As a thematic mission statement, “African Rhythms” lays it out. As a musical mission statement, “African Rhythms” was equally explicit...

Sounds that were spiritual, boundary-pushing and celebrated blackness”

NEW YORK TIMES

15 Essential Black Liberation Jazz Tracks

As black Americans fought for equal rights in the 1960s, music reflected their calls to action. In jazz, that meant sounds that were spiritual, boundary-pushing and celebrated blackness. – New york times

By Marcus J. Moore

 

In the late 1960s, as black Americans fought for equal rights, music started to reflect their calls to action. Nina Simone wondered what real freedom felt like, and James Brown encouraged black people to proudly proclaim their race. While black music has always been a refuge, these songs expressed a new way of thinking, combating racism with unflinching pride.