"Dance To It"
Jo Bisso was born and raised in YaoundÃ©, the political capital Cameroon. He grew up being a fan of American soul music such as Otis Reading and Wilson picket. In 1971 he left Cameroun to pursue his musical career. Beginning an 8 year stint of Paris to New York jet trips the young ambitious man forged his musical career on his own terms; Staring off with the minor hit â€œFlying To The Land Of Soulâ€ which he signed to Decca and moving on to produce, finance, write and create several albums released under his own name and other artsits such as Sookie and Venise.
In 1975 Jo created his genre blended debut album â€œJo Tongoâ€ on the Paris based Disques Esperance label. Sung in English and his native language it was way ahead of its time for the day, blending Jazz, Funk, Soul, afro rhythms and the sounds that were at the time being come to be known as Disco. The album was produced by Jo who plays a wide variety of the instruements and contributes his baritone â€œBarry Whiteâ€ tinged spoken vocals about life and love.
The album opens up with the title track â€œDance To Itâ€, A slice of groovy lounge-funk. Part 1 is all about the driving catchy groove which is layered with a downtown funk saxophone lead line. Part 2 brings in Joâ€™s spoken vocals in his native language and English, setting the tone of the album to come. â€œDisco Madonnaâ€ introduces a Latin flavour with Spanish vocals, a rumba groove and darting percussion. â€œRamayaâ€ melds a playful, summery, euro melody with Joâ€™s throaty, fun-loving vocals and a nascent use of synthesizers.
â€œLets Keep It Togetherâ€ is a song in two parts. The first half builds the groove over washy guitar, and chords before breaking into a solid soul riff with bass, Rhodes and guitar. Over this Jo layers the catchy, soulful vocals, summer-breeze guitars and jazzy keys. A real treat. Flip over to the Vinyl B side for what is probably the albums most â€œgetting downâ€ moment. The driving funk of â€œGive It Upâ€. Stabby brass, whirling organ and tight bass which is all wrapped up in a one tight arrangement. Add in doses of Joâ€™s sulty vocal and that is a recipe for a real winner.
â€œDonâ€™t Fight The Feelingâ€ again furthers into real deep funk territory. Jo opening up with a sermon on â€œlove and sexâ€. The album closes with the swinging soul of the pensive Jo and his thoughts on life, â€œOdwaâ€. What is going down?
The Give It Up track was a highlight of the recent Africa Seven debut release â€œAfrican Airways Volume 1: (Funk Connection 1972-1979). To Follow that up Africa Seven are proud to repress the debut Jo Bisso album in its full glory.
Jo moved back from the US in 1981. From 1981 to 1989 his lived in Cote Dâ€™Ivoire. He now lives in Paris and although he sometimes â€œfinds it hard to listen to his albumsâ€, he does thinks it great that people love his music and his debut album is getting a re-release all these years later.
All titles written and arranged by Jo Bisso.
Ramaya written by A. Simone & St. Regal.
Odwa by Ossibissa.
Published by Copyright Control.
Victor Arredondo: Vocals, Bass - Carlos Benthein: Vocals, Congas, Percussions, Ron Lankone: Trumpet, Electric Trumpet, Pat Boland: Soprano Tenor Saxes, Amore Lopez: Drums, Peter Meisner: Guitars, Ernest Astacio: Piano, Organ Moog Synthesizer, Peter Affa: Moog Synthesizer, Orlando Vasquez: Guitars - Steve: Drums - Michael: Soprano, Alto, Tenor Saxes (Solo on Dance To It), Garry: Piano.
Horn arranged by Ron Lankone (Give It Up - Donâ€™t Fight The Feeling), Michael (Dance To It)
Iâ€™d like to thank each and everyone of these musicians for their patience and cooperation during the long hours we spent in the studios trying to make this possible. It was amazing to see friends like Peter Affa and Michael walking in at the last minute and doing such a superb job. Bless you all. Thank you Jeannine Otis for your help. Thank you Allne. Thank you Fred, Je, Soe, Sookie. Thank you Mulamba, thank you Messi Mâ€™Barga for moral support.
Thank you Ava Agnes for the same reason. Thank you Vinnie Cirricione for your hospitality in New York city.
Thank you God.)
Recorded and Mixed at Music Designers Inc. Boston, MA by Joe Chiccarelli
Produced by Jo Bisso.
Audio Restoration and Remastering by Sean P & Tiger Bright Studio (www.tigerbright.net)
Licenced from Jobiss and Disques EspÃ©rance.
(C) 2015 Africa Seven (P) 1979 Africa Seven
|1.||Dance To It [Part 1]|
|2.||Dance To It [Part 2]|
|5.||Let's Keep It Together|
|6.||Give It Up|
|7.||Don't Fight The Feeling|
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