Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe (1972)

Depuis très longtemps je voulais partager les remèdes du plus grand docteur musical, Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe. On dit qu'il a composé plus de 500 titres, je pense donc que vous n'avez pas fini d'entendre parler du Doc sur Oro. Des extraits de l'album ont été postés sur le génial blog Likembe il y a 3 ans. Je propose l'album en entier dont voici les titres sous forme de medley:

[A] Egbunam / Ezi Oyi / Matador Special  / Ozo Emezina

[B] Ezi Ogelidi  / Obi Enwe Igodi  / Okalianjo

For a very long time I wanted to share the remedies of the greatest doctor of music,Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe. They say he has composed over 500 songs, so I think you will herad more about Osadebe on Oro. Excerpts from the album wereposted on the awesome blog Likembe blog 3 years ago. Today, I propose the whole album. For those who don't know the doctor yet, here is a biography take from the Biochem Nagoya blog.

"Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe is one of the few bandleaders from the 1960s' "Golden Age" of Nigerian danceband highlife still active on the music scene. He was born in March 1936 in Atani, near the Igbo trading city of Onitsha. According to the liner notes by Chuzzy Udenwa of the compilation CD, "Sound Time," Osadebe's musical apprenticeship began with E.C. Arinze's Empire Rhythm Orchestra in the 1950's, and he soon made a mark with his first record, "Adamma," in 1958. Another source (Yahoo! Music Australia & NZ) claims that Osadebe got his start with Stephen Ameche's band in 1958 and that his first recording was "Lagos Life Na So So Enjoyment" with trumpeter Zeal Onyiya's band in 1959.

Regardless of the exact date of his musical debut, Osadebe's career dates to the 1950's there are many 45s, EP's, etc. releeased prior to 1972 which are not listed here. One or two LPs issued after 1972 may also not be listed. Nonetheless, this is the most complete discography of Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe currently available. Occasionally LPs do not have a formal "title". In such cases they are identified by the lead track on side 1. "Philips" & "Polydor" refer to the Nigerian affiliates of those labels. -- John Beadle.

Addition: Stephen Osita Osadebe passed away in US at the age of 73 on the 11th of May, 2007. According to Benson Idonije's obituary article in the Guardian Newspaper, 

"Osadebe succeeded in breaking away from the conventional big band format established by the pioneers of the music, a format that favoured melodic progressions that were in the common meter, church hymnal tradition. He succeeded in completely transforming highlife into the call-and-response pattern of African music.

Osadebe was only a singer who also played claves, but his role manifested itself in all the areas of highlife, composing, arranging and providing band leadership. He began his career from Empire Hotel, Idioro, Lagos, a club owned by Chief Kanu; which provided employment and residency for almost all the early highlife musicians. Osadebe was a sideman with Stephen Amechi and his Rhythm Skies."

He describes the points of his music as
"Two personalities were greatly respected and sought-after during those highlife days - the vocalist and the guitar player. The guitarist provided palm wine chords which held the orchestra together and also indulged in interminably long guitar solos that kept dancers on the floor for long periods of time. The vocalist projected the entire band and remained the main focus. Osadebe was one of the leading singers on the scene - along with Joe Mensah, Tunde Osofisan, Godwin Omabuwa. But the edge Osadebe had over all of them was that he was a prolific composer; and for this reason, he was in great demand."

His carrier shifted from the Empre Hotel to Central Hotel. "He moved from Empire Hotel under the leadership of Stephen Amechi to Central Hotel, Yaba. Even though he was not the leader of the band there was a special arrangement between him and Chief Osuala, the proprietor of the club to concede this position to trumpet player. Eric Onugha, a much older musician who could read music. Osadebe did all the singing and composing."

Idonije continues: "The situation which however elevated Osadebe musically in terms of giving him the confidence that he needed as a musician was his collaboration with trumpet player Zeal Onyiia of Vic Yem Ofum fame.

Zeal was one of the pioneers of highlife who had fruitful stints with Bobby Benson and even E.T. Mensal and his Tempos Band. He also co-led the Rhythm Aces with Spike Ayanko upon leaving the Tempos Band. Besides, Zeal was the strongest trumpeter in West Africa. Playing with zeal was an eye opener and a landmark in Osadebe's musical career. He learnt all about the essence of melodic progressions, poise, dynamics and big band arrangement technique - qualities, which manifested themselves in the band's hit single oyin lotan, which was composed and vocally projected by Osadebe himself."

He broke away from being a sideman and went his separate way around 1964 with the release of One pound, no balance, which was a big hit. Quite significant in his career, this song dictated for him the way in which his music should go."


dial africa said...

Thank you for this post and the nice music you posted this year. I wish a happy new year ... and much more music!

grooVemonzter said...

Thank you very much. This is a beautiful album.

steve said...

The links on this album seem to be broken. I can't access it. Can you please repost it? Thanks!