Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 16. September 8th 1971
Talk about regionalism! - not so very long ago we were inundated with psuedo-Latin American beat in the form of such groups as Santana, and more recently perhaps, Mandrill. Now it's Africa's turn as shown by the rise of the so-called Afro-rock groups notably, of course, Osibisa, and Assagai. Assagai which developed from many obscure groups, among them one (understandably) called Spear, strikes me as a very parochial bunch of guys and with names like Louis Moholo, Duda Pukwana, and Bizo Maggikana, who's surprised. On top of this a lot of the tracks sung in Yuruba (a Nigerian dialect), including a version of Hey Jude which has to be heard to be believed. The big thing I find about this LP is that it's all been heard before, only it was called Calypso. In fact you just have to add a steel band and it would be straight out of Trinidad.
There is a very distinct western jazz influence on the group especially in the use of saxaphones but a link with Africa is kept by use of 'Afro' type drumming. The record is very easy listening - it's not brilliant and doesn't provide us with any outstanding music, but it's still good. The instrumentals are the best and range from Akas a big band instrumental with reminders of Santana, to Ayeio, which has a very strong Calypso overtone.