The term "witch doctor" can have a negative connotation for some Americans and Europeans, who associate that term with witchcraft and the black arts. The problem with that stereotype is that in African cultures and religions, many tribal witch doctors reject the occult and believe in using music to heal and uplift. The late Suru Ekeh was a Nigerian ethnomusicologist and musical scholar who embraced the type of traditional African sounds that witch doctors have used for centuries. A duet with percussionist/vocalist Kandido Ojajimi, this rewarding CD consists of only percussion and vocals. Although Suru played with American rock stars Carlos Santana and Jerry Garcia, Witch Doctor is mostly traditional (exception: the English-language number "Fire Girl"). The songs are repetitious, and that's exactly the point -- the use of repetition is an important part of African musical ceremonies. Sadly, Suru was only 40 when, in 1994, he died from complications of pneumonia in his adopted home of San Rafael, CA.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson