Friday, April 6, 2007

Soul with Moambe Sauce

Dipping into Congolese vinyl, with two 1970s funk excursions by Tabu Ley and Trio Madjesi. Trio Madjesi ('Mario' Matadidi Mabele, 'Djeskain' Loko Massengo, and Bonghat 'Max Sinatra' Tshekabu , a.k.a. Saak Saakul) & Orchestre Sosoliso are best known for Sex Madjesi, their version of James Brown's Sex Machine. Hailing from Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, and Zaire, they filled soccer stadium with their fancy moves and infectious grooves. Some of their work was reissued on CD but I didn't find quick links (might also be out of print...). Here's one of my favorite tracks: the sebene part of Carte Blanche (1973)!

What's even better, you can watch them. Someone saved a television performance of Sosoliso na Sosoliso/Sex Madjesi. Performing in soccer outfits (they had several tunes celebrating soccer, like Butteur and Penalty), it's wonderful to be able to see this rare footage. Imagine what their concerts must have been like!

Tabu Ley (Rochereau) is one of Africa's musical giants, alongside Fela Kuti and Franco Luambo Makiadi. I feel lucky that I've seen them all perform live. I haven't heard of Tabu Ley doing concerts lately but he's still around.

I always found Tabu Ley to be a bit more musically adventurous than Franco (though Franco will always be the Grand Maitre). Here's an example of a beautiful duet with Muana Shaba from 1973: Dialogue (anyone has more info on Muana Shaba?). It's not too difficult to still find Tabu Ley's work.

Hope you enjoy these grooves.

P.S. Gary Stewart's Rumba On The River provides the best history of the music of the Congos. That's where I got the title for this post: reviewing a legendary concert by Trio Madjesi, they called it 'Du soul a la sauce moambe.'


Maga Bo said...


thanks for the invitation to check your blog. Lovely, lovely stuff. sounds even getter greasy and covered with feathers! I've linked you on my blog. Thanks for posting this stuff and I look forward to lots more good stuff.


Ntwiga said...


Thank you very much - in the last month, you have posted an amazing amount of hard to find music.

I also am pretty enamored of "Rumba on the river" - I actually blogged about it earlier this year when my copy finally showed up! JKE, another Kenyan bloger in Germany also recently got a copy and gave the book a rave review.

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