Home      Blog      Labels      Bands      History      Video


Atomic Jazz Band

From Bunyore, the Luhya trio of Shem Tube, Justo Osala Omufila and Enos Okola have been together since the 1960s yet only came to prominence in the West with the release of Abana Ba Nasery: Classic Recordings from Western Kenya (Globestyle LP, 1989). This compilation of songs previously released only in Kenya highlighted the band’s acoustic omutibo style, distinguished by Tube and Osala’s guitar playing set against rhythms created by Okola striking a Fanta bottle.

While on tour in Europe in 1991 the band recorded Nursery Boys Go Ahead! (Globestyle CD, 1992) a more electric production featuring a selection of British folk musicians who introduced Celtic elements to the band’s music.

Some western critics bridled at this supposed dilution of the group’s sound yet Tube’s own career within the Kenyan recording industry suggests a more progressive turn of mind. During Abana Ba Nasery’s numerous breaks from performing, he worked with Bunyore Jazz Band and Imara Jazz Band on recordings for his own Tube label as well as being heavily involved in releases on the Luanda Magere label.