Spirits Up Above
Years before "worldbeat" became a familiar term, 1971's Woyaya fused African highlife with Western prog-rock, R&B, and jazz. Osibisa, a multinational collective of African and Caribbean musicians based in London, strike a perfect balance between rhythmic dexterity and inviting melodies. These seven lengthy tracks flow beautifully, driven by a powerful horn section, funky organ, and hypnotic drums. A bluesy cover of Roland Kirk's "Spirits Up Above" fits perfectly with originals like the fiery, hard-rocking "Survival" and the peaceful, hymn-like title track.