The Ijaw are considered one of Nigeria's "ethnic minorities" and as such, their rich culture and musical heritage are often overlooked, but the area has nurtured a strong highlife tradition (especially in the live performance arena) and produced luminaries of the genre such as Prince David Bull & the Professional Seagulls* and the immortal Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson. The majority of its highlife stars, though, have never not made much of a mark beyond the immediate region but are local legends: Emperor Erasmus Jenewari, George Iboroma, King Robert Ebizimor and of course Echo Toikumo.
Echo Toikumo's music, like that of most Ijaw dance bands, tends to an urgency and directness that is akin to the jumpy highlife of their their Anioma neighbors.
(A few small press defects in this one, gang... Nothing too distracting, though.)
ECHO TOIKUMO AND THE FISHER BROTHERS - ENI YEI (TRADISCOS RECORDS, TRDLP-09, 1984)
1. Ebi-Ebi Miyen
2. Eni Yei
1. Tibi Kari
2. Eko Itonbra
*My man Deinma (that proud son of Okrika) has been bugging me to put up some David Bull music for a while... I'm working on it, D!