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AFRICAN JAZZ

2010 - recommended recordings


Albums of the year

Album of the year - Style Jazz Congolais release of the year - Township Jazz release of the year -  Afrobeat release of the year - Newcomers of the year - Reissue of the year   

Artists of the year

GuitaristsSaxophonists - Trumpet and Flugelhorn - Horn SectionsPiano and Keyboards - Bass - Drums  PercussionVibes - Vocalists Female - Vocalists  Male - Vocal  duets and multi voice groups -Big Bands - Small Bands - multi instrumentalists - ArrangersComposers - Electronica - Miscellaneous instruments -  African Jazz Party Album - Some memorable brief appearances - DVD documentariesDeaths

To read an article giving an overview of 2010 in African jazz click here.

   

Album of the year

Live at the Market Theatre Johannesburg - Philip Tabane & Malombo

Malombo, featuring South Africa's most important guitarist and the Malombo drums, will surely achieve long over due global recognition with their first live disc since "Castle Lager Jazz Festival 1964."  This great footage proves once more that Philip Tabane is one of the most s gifted and original performers to have emerged in the 1960's regardless of genre and that Malombo are as good as ever. (DVD also available as double CD set, South Africa)


Style Jazz Congolais release of the year

 Chante Tabu Ley - Koffi Olomide

Koffi is Africa's Prince of Pop and he isn't usually associated with jazz at all. Nor is he much noted for his modesty, but in this extraordinary live release he sings 40 Style Jazz standards mostly composed by and in honour of Tabu Ley Rochereau, who along with Manu Dibango, is one of the few surviving alumni of the seminal band African Jazz. This act of homage to a living African artist is unprecedented  and a stroke of genius on Koffi's part because his profound love for  this great music shines through every glorious note. A beautiful gesture and a truly beautiful release. (DVD/CD set, (DR Congo)


Township jazz release of the year

 Live in Jo'burg nineteen ninety nine - Moses Taiwa Molelekwa

Previously unreleased club date recording on CD from the last and greatest phase of Molelekwa's short career featuring his best band with his protégé, the late Moses Khumalo, on sax and several previously unheard compositions. A must have for anyone who already know his work and an ideal place to start for those not yet familiar with this supremely gifted pianist/composer/bandleader who was universally regarded by his compatriots as  the finest musician of the post apartheid generation. (South Africa)   

Go to Molelekwa discographyentry


Afrobeat release of the year

 Sharp-sharp! and Paradise – Lágbájá

Two  CDs released simultaneously by Fela's musical heir. Not quite as strong or innovative as his last release  "Africano" but infinitely better than anything else in the field. Unlike everyone else Lágbájá! doesn't try to revive or emulate sounds from the past: Rather his mission is to breath new life and radical reform into the genre. This is why Nigerians love this music so much and also explains why the revival of trad afrobeat doesn't feature much in the contemporary music scene in West Africa.  Lágbájá! challenges us and deconstructs preconceived ideas in exactly the way Fela did. Highly recommended. (Nigeria)


Newcomer of the year

 Newcomer of the year

Brian Thusi Trumpeter, multi instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger (South Africa)

  

Recommended newcomers

Chechamba - Veteran pianist, guitarist vocalist, composer (Malawi)

Fundile Mdinge Pianist, vocalist, composer (South Africa)

Ivan MuzuzeSaxophonist composer (Mozambique)   


Reissue of the year

C'est La Fête! - Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana

Strong two hour live set from 2003 on DVD; remastered and reedited with  improved sound featuring Africa's and arguably the world's greatest band, Bana OK formerly known as OK Jazz. Le Poète Lutumba Simaro, who joined the band in 1961 and has led it since Franco's death in 1989, makes his customary ,cool, curt appearance and there is a guest slot for Mangwana but the big attraction is Bana OK's 18 man lineup, who, as ever, are in a league of their own.  Was there, is there or will there ever be a better band? The musical equivalent of a multiple orgasm.(DR Congo)  


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Artists of the year


Guitarists

Release of the year 

Philip Tabane – featured on the DVD Live at the Market Theatre Johannesburg by Philip Tabane & Malombo (also available as 2 CD set South Africa)

 

Recommended releases

Jonathan Butler  – So Strong (South Africa)   

Chechemba – Chechemba's Piano & Guitar Sounds (Malawi)

Lionel Loueke – featured on the CD Õÿö by Angelique Kidjo (Benin)

Inu Mimo – Sing Ayinde Bakare (Nigeria)

Selaelo Selota – Lapeng Laka (South Africa)  

Djelimmady Tounkara – featured on the CD Afrocubism (Mali)

Dino Vangu – featured on the CD/DVD set La Sirène d'Eau Douce by Feya Tess  (DR Congo)


 Reissuess

Dr Nico, Dino Vangu, Huit Kilos Nseka and all the other guitarists – featured on the double CD set Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 by Tabu Ley Rochereau (DR Congo)

Oliver Tshimanga – featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana (DR Congo)


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Saxophonists

  Release of the year 

Bhudaza – Likhomo (Lesotho) 

 

Recommended releases

Mamadou Barry  – Niyo (Guinea)   

 Moses Khumalo – featured on the CD  Live in Jo'berg Nineteen Ninety Nine by Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (previously unreleased posthumous CD, South Africa)  

Lágbájá!  - Paradise (Nigeria)   

Lágbájá!  - Sharp-sharp! (Nigeria)

Ivan Mazuze – Maganda (Mozambique)

Dudu Pukwana – featured on the CD Night Time is the Right Time - 60's Soho Sounds (previously unreleased posthumous CD, South Africa)


Reissues

Bhudaza - Hitpac 5 (Lesotho)

Moses Khumalo – The Best of Moses Khumalo (South Africa)


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Trumpet and Flugelhorn

 Release of the year 

Hugh Masekela – Jabulani (South Africa)

 

Recommended releases

Brian Thusi  – Nomakunjalo (South Africa)   

Mac Tontoh - featured on the CD Osee Yee by Osibisa (Ghana)


Reissues

Bola Johnson - Man No Die (Nigeria)   

Victor Olaiya - featured on Victor Olaiya's All Stars International (Nigeria)


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Horn Sections

Recommended release

 Africa 70's horn section  – featured on the DVD  Fela Live in Berlin (1978) packaged with the double CD set Fela Kuti Anthology 2 (previously unreleased footage, Nigeria)


Reissues

Afrisa's horn section  – featured on the double CD set Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 by Tabu Ley Rochereau (DR Congo)   

Bana OK's horn section – featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana( DR Congo)  


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Piano and Keyboards

 Release of the year 

Moses Taiwa MolelekwaLive in Jo'berg Nineteen Ninety Nine (previously unreleased posthumous CD, South Africa)

 

Recommended releases

Chechemba – Chechemba's Piano & Guitar Sounds (Malawi)

Abdullah Ibrahim – Bombella (South Africa)

Duro  Ikujenyo – featured on the CD Ase by Duro Ikujenyo and Age of Aquarious (Nigeria)

Don Laka – Poison (South Africa)

Fundile Mdingile – Borrowed Gift (South Africa)


Reissues

Mulatu Astatke – New York-Addis-London The History of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 (Ethiopia)   

Moses Taiwa Molelekwa - African Jazz Classics (South Africa)


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Bass

Recommended releases

Richard Bona – Ten Shades of Blue (Cameroun)

Johnny Dyani and Harry Miller– featured on the CD Curiosities 1972 by Command All Stars ((previously unreleased posthumous CD, South Africa)

Makabi Flavien - featured on the CD/DVD set La Sirène d'Eau Douce by Feya Tess  (DR Congo)

Tammy - Just Jazz (South Africa)   


  Reissues

Makabi Flavien – featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana (DR Congo)

Harry Miller - Full Steam Ahead (South Africa)


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Drums

 Release of the year 

Tony Allen - featured on the DVD  Fela Live in Berlin (1978) packaged with the double CD set Fela Kuti Anthology 2 (previously unreleased footage, Nigeria)

 

  Recommended releases

Tony Allen – featured on the CD  Inspiration Information by Jimi Tenor/Tony Allen (previously unreleased footage, Nigeria)  

Louis Moholo – Moholo - featured on the CD An open letter to my wife Mpumi by Louis Moholo – Moholo Unit (South Africa)

Sello Montwedi - featured on the CD  Live in Jo'berg Nineteen Ninety Nine by Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (previously unreleased posthumous CD, South Africa)


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Percussion

 Release of the year 

Tabang Tabane – featured on the DVD Live at the Market Theatre Johannesburg by Philip Tabane & Malombo (also available on 2 CD, set South Africa)

 

Recommended release

  Tlale Makhene – featured on the CD  Live in Jo'berg Nineteen Ninety Nine by Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (previously unreleased  CD, Swaziland)

Reissue

 Armando – featured on the CD/DVD set La Sirène d'Eau Douce by Feya Tess  (DR Congo)


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Vibes

  Recommended releases

Manu Dibango - King Makossa  (previously unreleased archive concert footage on DVD, Cameroon)

Various Artists – Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music from South Africa (South Africa)

 


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Vocalists Female

Release of the year 

Feya Tess – La Sirène d'Eau Douce (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)


Recommended releases

Simphiwe Dana – Kultre Noir (South Africa)

Angelique Kidjo  Õÿö-(Benin)  

Dorothy Masuka  - Live at the Mandela Theatre (DVD also available as CD, Zimbabwe)   

Tutu Puoane  - featured on the CD Mama Africa by Brussels Jazz Orchestra with Tutu Puoane (South Africa)   

 

 Reissues

Mbilia Bel  – featured on the DVD Document Inédit by Sam Mangwana & M'bilia Bel (DR Congo)   

Mbilia Bel  – featured on the DVD XIV Clips et Play back de Lègend by Tabu Ley & M'bilia Bel (DR Congo)   

Miriam Makeba  – Mama Afrika 1932 - 2008 (2 CD set, South Africa)


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Vocalists Male

 Release of the year 

Koffi Olomide – Chante Tabu Ley (DVD/CD set,  DR Congo)


Recommended releases

Bholoja – Swazi Soul (Swaziland)

  Salif Keita –  (La Différence (Mali)

Fela Kuti – featured on the DVD  Fela Live in Berlin (1978) packaged with the double CD set Fela Kuti Anthology 2 (previously unreleased footage, Nigeria)   

Lágbájá!  - Paradise (Nigeria)   

Lágbájá!  - Sharp-sharp! (Nigeria)   

Fundile Mdingile – Borrowed Gift (South Africa)   


  Reissues

Josky Kimabukata  - featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana( DR Congo)

Sam Mangwana  – featured on the DVD Document Inédit by Sam Mangwana & Mbilia Bel (DR Congo)   

Tabu Ley Rochereau  – Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 (2 CD set, DR Congo)

Tabu Ley Rochereau – featured on the DVD XIV Clips et Play back de Lègend by Tabu Ley & Mbilia Bel (DR Congo)


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Vocal duets and multi voice groups

 Recommended release

Hugh Masekela – Jabulani (South Africa)  


Reissue

Bana OK - featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana( DR Congo)   


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Big Bands

Release of the year  

Africa 70  – featured on the DVD  Fela Live in Berlin (1978) packaged with the double CD set Fela Kuti Anthology 2 (previously unreleased footage, Nigeria

 

Recommended releases

Bana OK - featured on the DVD Hommage à Franco 20 ans apres sa mort...(DR Congo)  

Brussels Jazz Orchestra with Tutu Puoane  - Mama Africa (Belgium/South Africa)

The Budos Band  - III (USA/Afrobeat)

Abdullah Ibrahim – Bombella (South Africa)  

Femi Kuti  - Africa for (Africa (Nigeria)   

 Lágbájá!  - Paradise (Nigeria)   

 Lágbájá!  - Sharp-sharp! (Nigeria)   

London Afrobeat Collective  - L.A.C. (UK/Nigeria)  

Nomo  - Invisible Cities (USA/Afrobeat)

Various Artists - featured on the DVD Hommage à Franco et L'OK Jazz( DR Congo)  


Reissues

Bana OK - featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana( DR Congo)   

Afrisa  – featured on the double CD set Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 by Tabu Ley Rochereau (DR Congo)   

Various Artists – Afro-beat Airways West African Shockwaves Ghana & Togo  1972 to 1978 (Ghana/ Togo)   

Various Artists – Nigeria Afrobeat Special: The New Explosive Sound in 1970's Nigeria (Nigeria)

Various Artists – Zanzibara 5 Hot in Dar Sound of Tanzania 1978 - 1983 (Tanzania)


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 Small Bands

Release of the year 

Philip Tabane & Malombo–  Live at the Market Theatre Johannesburg (DVD also available on CD, South Africa)

 

Recommended releases

Afrigo Band – Best of Afrigo Band (DVD, Uganda)   

Osibisa - Osee Yee (Ghana)   

 Ziyadumara  – Maboshobosho (South Africa)


Reissues

Hedzoleh Soundz  - Hedzoleh Soundz (Ghana)  

Rikki Ilong & Mosi-O-Tunya  - Dark Sunrise (2 CD set, Zambia)  

Star Number One de Dakar  - Belle Epoque (2 CD set,  Senegal)  

Sweet Talks  - The Kussum Beat (Ghana)  

 Various Artists  -Next Stop Soweto Vol. 3: Giants, Ministers and Makers: Jazz in South Africa 1963 - 1978 (2 CD set, South Africa)

Various Artists  - The World is Shaking Cubanisimo from the Congo 1954-5 (DR Congo)  


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multi instrumentalists

Recommended releases

Lokua Kanza - Nkolo (DR Congo)

Pops Mohamed – featured on the CD Society Vibes -fast4WD>> by Pops Mohamed and Friends (South Africa)


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Arrangers

Recommended releases

Lágbájá!  - Paradise (Nigeria)   

 Lágbájá!  - Sharp-sharp! (Nigeria)   

Hugh Masekela – vocal arrangements on Jabulani (South Africa)   

Jordan McLean – featured on the CD Fela! Original Broadway Cast Recording (USA/Afrobeat)


  Reissue

Tabu Ley Rochereau  – Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 (2 CD set, DR Congo)

Le  Poète Lutumba Simaro - featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana( DR Congo)


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Composers

Release of the year 

Tabu Ley Rochereau– featured on the DVD/CD set Chante Tabu Ley by Koffi Olomide (DR Congo) 


Recommended releases

Fela Kuti - featured on the DVD  Fela Live in Berlin (1978) packaged with the double CD set Fela Kuti Anthology 2 (previously unreleased footage, Nigeria)   

Lágbájá!  - Paradise (Nigeria)   

Lágbájá!  - Sharp-sharp! (Nigeria)   

Dorothy Masuka  - Live at the Mandela Theatre (DVD also available as CD, Zimbabwe)

Moses Taiwa MolelekwaLive in Jo'berg Nineteen Ninety Nine (previously unreleased posthumous CD, South Africa)

Le  Poète Lutumba Simaro - Vivement Simaro ( DVD/CD set, DR Congo)


Reissue

Le  Poète Lutumba Simaro - featured on the DVD C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana( DR Congo)

Tabu Ley Rochereau  – Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 (2 CD set, DR Congo)   


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Electronica

Some Recommendations

Black Coffee – Have Another One (South Africa)   

Obrafour – Pae Mu Ka (Ghana)

Revolution – Tribal Journey (South Africa)


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Miscellaneous Instruments

Chromatic harmonica

Adam Glasser  – Free at First (South Africa)   

 

Violin

Tshepo Mngoma  – People & Places (Swaziland)   


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African Jazz Party Album


African Jazz Party album of the year: C'est la fête by Lutumba Simaro & Sam Mangwana (DVD, DR Congo)


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Some memorable brief appearances

Release of the year

Mbilia Bel - featured on the track Nairobi on the DVD/CD set Vivement Simaro by Lutumba Simaro (DR Congo)   

 

Recommended releases

Richard Bona - featured on the track Wishes on the CD Mwaliko by Lionel Loueke (Cameroun)  

Verckys Kimuangana  – featured on the CD Notre Père Rumba by Papa Wemba (DR Congo)   

Femi Kuti  - featured on the Naija Remix of We Are Africans by JJC (Nigeria)

  Bopol Mansianina - featured on the CD/ DVD set Sacrifices by Sam Tshintu (DR Congo)

Hugh Masekela - featured on the track Ingoma on the CD Ibokwe by Thandiswa (South Africa)   

Busi Mhlongo  - featured on the remix of Izizwe by Black Coffee on he CD Have Another One (South Africa  

Tabu Ley Rochereau - featured on the track Adios Thethe the DVD/CD set Vivement Simaro by Lutumba Simaro (DR Congo)   

Oumou Sangare  and Konono No 1  - featured on the track Imagine on the CD The Imagine Project by Herbie Hancock (Mali and DR Congo)   

Oliver Tshimanga  – featured on the CD Notre Père Rumba by Papa Wemba (DR Congo)   

Oliver Tshimanga  – featured on the 2 CD + DVD set Apres Toi by Roi Soleil Wanga Guy Vambrawn (DR Congo)   

 

Reissues

Fela Ransome Kuti & his Africa 70 – featured on the track Who Are You? in a version not previously available on CD, on  Nigeria Afrobeat Special: The New Explosive Sound in 1970's Nigeria by Various Artists (Nigeria)

Kippie Moeketsi – featured on the track Orlado, by Dennis Mpale not previously available on CD, on the double disc set Next Stop Soweto Vol. 3: Giants, Ministers and Makers: Jazz in South Africa 1963 - 1978 by Various Artists (South Africa)

Dr Nico – featured on the track Ohambe, not previously available on CD, on the double disc set Voice of Lightness, Vol. 2 by Tabu Ley Rochereau (DR Congo)  


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DVD documentaries

 A Slice of Fela - packaged with Box Set Vol 3 by Fela Kuti (8 CD plus DVD set, Nigeria) and with The Complete Recordings (26 CD set plus DVD, Nigeria)

Dernier Voeux de Madilu Système (DR Congo) 


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Deaths

 Hotep Idris Galetapianist, composer, band leader (South Africa)   

Robbie Jansen – saxophonist (South Africa)

 Busi Mhlongo – singer, composer (South Africa)   

Ezra Ngcukana – saxophonist (South Africa)


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