Sep 30, 2011

From Benin: Orchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes

Orchestre Super Jheevs des Paillotes were from the West African country formerly called Dahomey, now known as Benin.

Samy Ben Redjeb, the founder of Analog Africa and publisher of the amazing compilation "African Scream Contest" went to Benin, and interviewed guitarist D’Almeida Expédit:

The band formed, without me, around the early 70s. They had struggled to get things going, they didn’t have a steady guitarist and were soon looking for a musician who could transform their chaotic energy into something productive. A few members were dispatched to Cotonou in ‘71, and that’s where they found me. During our first jam session I improvised a few things on guitar. They had never seen someone handling that instrument the way I did, They all wanted me to stay, but I told the manager of the band, De Souza Marius, that I would only stick around if he found me a daytime job. Two weeks later not only me but the entire band was employed at the CFDT, the local textile manufacturer which De Souza was also managing. We all felt more comfortable financially and could better focus on our music. We had some incredible musicians.

Our late bass player Agbotro Jude was considered to be one of the best in the country; he is the composer of the song you want. And then our crazy drummer Ambroise Gnagenon…He was a genius He would build his drum kit out of goat skin and other weird tools; we use to call it “La batterie indigene”. The bass drum pedal would break in the middle of every live performance; we would stop, waiting for him to fix it, and then continue. He had a really wild style. He is gone now, but you can still see the drum at Las Trois Paillotes. That’s the place we would meet and rehearse everyday after work, and on Saturdays we would set that place on fire! We were popular here but it was a regional thing – we did not use to record you know -but we toured a bit. Dasa, Azofe, Sabalo; it was hot!

One day Apova Bruno from Discafric came to Bohicon to record a band called Las Superstar de Cotonou. which had come here for a concert. Bruno arrived with his recording equipment, and while he was assembling his set-up he heard us practicing nearby He was intrigued by our sound and came to talk to us about making a recording, which we did three weeks later at Les Trois Paillotes. He brought his Nagra reel-to-reel, we played into one microphone, and that was it. We recorded that track three or four times and he later chose the best version. We did not hear from him for a while after that, despite people telling us that they could hear our song on the radio. Anyway I finally bumped into him one day while he was trying to get drunk in a bar in Bohicon. I forced him to follow me to our manager’s house so that they could clarify our payment. They had a brief chat and one week later we received one 7” inch single. That was all we ever received for that recording, which is the only one we ever did.

This article was originally published at amazing Thanx!!!



Definitely a very original attempt in the funk & latin fields by this obscure Beninese orchestra. Side A is a deep 'n messy uptempo afro funk jerk w/ a strong psych feel. Side B is a ruff 'n crazy Beninese afro latin mess on a pachanga beat, w/ great guitar work that give it very psych feel as well.


Side A: Ye Noan Lon An
Side B: Agbangningba

Additional information by Orogod:

The A side of this record has been recently edited by Analog Africa, then relayed by Radiodiffusion Internationaal, but the "Super Jheevs des Paillotes de Bohicon" have never been featured on Oro. So here is the original and all EP edited on Discafric label and pressed in France. I think it has been recorded in the early 70s.

Thanx for the permission to re-post!


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