Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sir Victor Uwaifo

  • Guitar-Boy Superstar: 1970-1976 [Soundway, 2008] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Guitar-Boy Superstar: 1970-1976 [Soundway, 2008]
Premier Records' sketchier and rarer Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and Ekassa Ekassa suggest that a full-career best-of would be the ideal introduction to this Nigerian icon from Benin the city, who at 67 is a teacher and a government commissioner and a certified bronze sculptor in addition to a musician with many hit singles well behind him. The simple catchiness of the not-included 1967 title tune would only have enhanced these selected specimens of ekassas, Uwaifo's hugely successful commercialization of a Benin rhythm reserved since the 16th century for coronations. "Kirikisi (Ekassa 24)" and "Ebibi (Ekassa 28)" come with guitar hooks also lifted from Benin tradition, but other songs' charms are somewhat subtler. Then there's "Agho," which fuses "What'd I Say" and "Tequila." Why didn't somebody think of that before? A-