Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I'm sorry I missed the tour of Les Bantous (de la Capitale) last year. It was the last time Jean Serge Essous performed; he passed away last year in Brazzaville. The Bantous were integral to much of the music that came out of Congo: OK Jazz, Rock-A-Mambo, Ryco Jazz, Negro Jazz, ...

Here's a not-so-old album (early 1980s) with 4 classic grooves.

Les Bantous - Bilanda-landa Mabe
Les Bantous - Dege
Les Bantous - Osala Ngai Nini
Les Bantous - Querida Paola

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jazz Babalou

Phil-Philo's Jazz Babalou was one of the bands on the Ngoma label. Not much is known about Phil-Philo. The liner notes of this 45 (Ngoma 4531/32) state: Phil-Philo was born in 1942 in the Bas-Congo province. After excellent studies, he quit school, drawn to music. First as singer, then composer, he set up his own orchestra, Viviane-Mambo, which was later renamed into Jazz Babalou. His songs are "inspired by woman and her infidelity." Augustin Bakome plays sax on these tunes.

Phil-Philo & Jazz Babalou - Batela Elaka Na Ngai
Phil-Philo & Jazz Babalou - Yo Okei Otiki Ngai?
Mario Lopes & Jazz Babalou - Ye Ye
Mario Lopes & Jazz Babalou - Cleo Wa Mabanzo

P.S. If you haven't heard of Baloji, check out the sounds and video. Love the Karibu Ya Bintou video shot in Kin, as well as the remake and video of Independence Cha Cha. After a tour of Congolese cities earlier this year (no minor feat!), he's playing around Europe this summer.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Leon Bukasa & Beguen Band

Well, I can't seem to go around the Congolese Independence. Worldservice has published excellent info on Leon Bukasa and the early Ngoma years, I am not going to add text and just play the music.

These are from one of those early Ngoma 45s, both tracks celebrate the independence. I don't recall that Wrldsrv posted these already so it's my way to say, Thanks Stefan!, for all the rarities and stories you have posted.

Leon Bukasa & Beguen Band - Tokanisa Kongo Ya Biso (Let's think about our Kongo)
Leon Bukasa & Beguen Band - Bukole

Bakuba Emperor

Kabasele Yampanya, known as Pepe Kalle, was a great performer and a giant of a man. His house in Kinshasa was open to anyone. His later songs (like Moyibi and a modern version of Bakoule -- I have been looking for this modern version; I have it somewhere in my cassette collection that's gathering dust) are much more well-known than these old tracks I am posting today.

Congo's 50th birthday festivities are now over, as are those of the world cup (no more vuvuzelas buzzing at night from all the radios and television in the neighborhood). Life goes on. As does this blog. Enjoy.

Orchestre Empire Bakuba - Kombe Dilu
Orchestre Empire Bakuba - Naleleli Pt. 1 & 2
Orchestre Empire de Bakuba - Massa Pt. 1 & 2
Orchestre Les Bakuba - Likabu Mabe

Tanzania Edition

Today's post features classic muziki wa dansi from the late 1970s. This album (the first LP edition on Tanzania Film Company TLP0...