One of a handful of Afro beat/Afro jazz compilations put out by British promoter and DJ Ross Dewbury, Club Africa features an infectious blend of '70s cuts informed by Fela's groundbreaking Afro roots and jazz blend. High profile moments come courtesy of Mandingo, Peter King, and Miriam Makeba, revealing the collection's cross-cultural bent in the process. In fact, a good amount here is global, coming from the likes of Columbia's Wganda Kenya, the New York-African group Buari (featuring jazz drummer Bernard Purdie), and the U.S. session band behind Chakachas' funk hit "Jungle Fever." And, yes, there is plenty of Africa here too, not only in all the music of course, but more directly in the Fela-meets-Sunny Ade side "Jungle Funk" by Nigeria's Nkengas and the Afro-Cuban cut "Kenia" by Kenya's Mombasa. The grooves are incredible throughout, making it easy to believe, as Dewbury purports in the liner notes, that this music is "the flavor of '99 with cutting edge DJs." Save for the Gaytones' lifeless rendition of the Manu Dibango hit "Soul Makossa" and the Ashantis' Afro-Allman Brothers jam "Everybody's Groove," it's not hard to see why the hipsters of Dance Nation are getting down to cuts like these.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook