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© Ben Robertson 2006 - 2015

AFRICAN JAZZ

2015 - recommended recordings

Albums of the year

Album of the year - Central African jazz release of the year - East African jazz release of the year  – Southern African jazz release of the year - West Afica jazz release of the year  - Newcomer of the year - Artists of the year - Reissue of the year - African Jazz Party Album of the year - Deaths


Recommended Releases of the year

GuitaristsSaxophonists - Trumpet and FlugelhornTrombone - Horn SectionsPiano and Keyboards - Bass - Drums - PercussionVocalists Female - Vocalists  Male - Vocal  duets and multi voice groups -Big Bands - Small Bandsmulti instrumentalists - ArrangersComposers - Electronica - Miscellaneous instruments - Some memorable brief appearances - DVD documentaries and fims


To read an article giving an overview of 2015 in African jazz click here


Album of the year

E.T. Mensah & The Tempos - King of Highlife Anthology (4 CD set, Ghana)


See annotated track list and feature article entitled “E.T. Mensah & The Tempos’ relationship with jazz:  thoughts and a review prompted by ‘King of Highlife Anthology’ ”


Central African jazz release of the year

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley (DR Congo)


East African jazz release of the year

Ricky Nanjero - Tucheze (download only, Kenya)


 Southern African jazz release of the year

Afrika Mkhize - Rain Dancer  (South Africa)


West African  jazz release of the year

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band - Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band (Ghana)



Newcomer of the year

Kearoma Rantao - When the Music Plays (download only, Botswana)


Highly Recommended newcomers


Osama Meleegi - Sudanese Afrobeats (Sudan)

Mandla Mlangeni – featured on Bhekisizwe by Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South Africa)

Sam'M - Oa Na NBA  (Cameroun)

Desouza Santu - Les Ambassadeurs (DR Congo)

Diassy T'Zen - Qui Vibra, Vivra (EP, DR Congo)

Vula Viel - Good Is Good (UK/ Ghana)

Marlon Witbooi - featured on  World Music by Bokani Dyer (South Africa)



Artists of the year


Guitarist

Caen Madoka - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)


Saxophonist

Linda Sikhakhane (tenor) - featured on Mother Tongue by Nduduzo Makhathini  (South Africa)


Trumpet/ Flugelhorn

Feya Faku - Live At The SABC M1 Studio (2 DVD set, South Africa)


Horn Section

Gangbe Brass Band - Go Slow to Lagos (Benin)


Piano and Keyboards

, Afrika Mkhize - Rain Dancer  (South Africa)


Bass

Etienne Mbappe  - featured on Bombay Makossa by  Chingari  (Cameroun)


Drums

Louis Moholo Moholo - featured on Born Free by Livio Minafra & Louis Moholo Moholo  (CD /DVD set, South Africa)


Percussion

Osama Meleegi - Sudanese Afrobeats (Sudan)


Vocalist Female

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley (DR Congo)


Vocalist Male

Ferre Gola - Concert Odimba et Accousitque au Grand Hotel de Kinshasa  (DVD, DR Congo)


Vocal duet/ multi voice group

Madilu System, Malage de Lugendo, Elba Top A, Canta Nyboma & Abby Suriya  - featured on  Bye Bye Vol 1 & 2 by Benz Petrole (DR Congo) Note: the jazz tacks on this double album are Vol 1: tracks 2 & 4; Vol 2: tracks 1,3 & 5


Big Band

Shokazoba - One Destiny (afrobeat, USA)


Small Band

Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal - Epistola ( Cabo Verde, Portugal. Mozambique)


Multi instrumentalist

Tony Cedras - Love Letter to Cape Town (download only, South Africa)


Arranger

Don Laka – Afro Chopin (South Africa)


Composer

Tabu Ley Rochereau - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)


Most memorable brief appearance

Tony Allen - featured on Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)


Reissue of the year

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - Maya, l’Album des Albums (DR Congo)


Highly recommended reissues

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Merci! Thank You! Vol 1 (5 CD set, Cameroun)

Johnny Dyani -  Afrika (Vinyl LP, South Africa)

Franco / Simaro / Ndombe & T.P.OK Jazz - Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 (DR Congo)

Orlando Julius - Best of Orlando Julius (Afrobeat, Funk, Soul & Highlife from the '60s-'80s) (download only, Nigeria)

Christine Kamau - This Is for You (download only, Kenya)

Miriam Makeba -  The Indispensable 1955 -1962 (3 CD set, South Africa)

Winston Mankunku - Collection (South Africa)

Letta Mbulu - In The Music... The Village Never Ends (vinyl only, South Africa)

Bheki Mseleku - featured on evergreen hits From The Past by The Drive (South Africa)

Osibisa - Singles As, Bs & 12 Inches (4 CD set; Ghana, Caribbean)

Orchestre Paillote - Sous La Direction De Traore Keletigu (vinyl or download, Giunnee Conakry)

Tabu Ley Rochereau - Chante Eboa Lotin (DR Congo)

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - The Very Best Of Vol .2., 3. And 4. ( DR Congo)

Tala A.M. - African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978 (vinyl or download; Cameroun)

Jo Tongo - Jo Tongo (vinyl only,Cameroun)

Mary Afi Usuah - Ekpenyong Abasi (Nigeria)

Various artists - Beyond Addis: Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s (Ethio jazz, France, UK, etc.)

Various artists - Light & Sound Of Mogadishu (Somalia)

Various artists  including Franco & Vicky Longomba - Loningisa early days (download only, DR Congo)


African Jazz Party Album of the year

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley (DR Congo)


Highly Recommended Party Albums - new releases

Kabelo - Immortal Vol .3 (afrobeat/ kwai jazz, South Africa)

Kabomo – Sekusile (South Africa)

Karmapa - Concert Live (Cd/DVD set, DR Congo)

Kearoma Rantao - When the Music Plays (download only, Botswana)

Shokazoba - One Destiny (afrobeat, USA)

Soul Brothers - Undendende (40th Anniversary)  (South Africa)

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band - Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)


Highly Recommended Party Albums - reissues

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Franco / Simaro / Ndombe - Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 (DR Congo)

Orlando Julius - Best of Orlando Julius (Afrobeat, Funk, Soul & Highlife from the '60s-'80s) (download only, Nigeria)

Osibisa - Singles As, Bs & 12 Inches (4 CD set; Ghana, Caribbean)

Tabu Ley Rochereau - Chante Eboa Lotin (DR Congo)

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - Maya, l’Album des Albums (DR Congo)

Various artists - Beyond Addis: Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s (Ethio jazz, France, UK, etc.)


Deaths

E. C. Arinze - Highlife trumpeter, bandleader, vocalist (Nigeria)

David Masondo – vocalist and composer (South Africa)

Lead singer of he Soul Brothers

Doudou Ndiaye Rose - Ssabar drum virtuoso (Senegal)

Played with Dizzy Gillespie,  Miles Davis, the Rolling Stones, etc.


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Recommended releases of the year


Guitarists

Release of the year

Caen Madoka- featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)


Recommended releases

April Allou - featured on One Word by Judith Sephuma (South Africa)

Kunle Ayo - featured on Firebrand by Simphiwe Dana  (Nigeria)

Blick Bassy - Ako (Cameroun)

Bheki Khoza – Asambe (South Africa)

Bheki Khoza - Songs Of Life (South Africa)

Madala Kunene - 1959 (South Africa)

Lionel Loueke - Gaïa (Benin)

Caen Madoka  - featured on Les Ambassadeurs by Desouza Santu (DR Congo)

Caen Madoka & Fofo Le Colegien- featured on Bombe Atomique by Elba (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Caen Madoka - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley Vol 2 by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Mongezi Ntaka - featured on Ballads & Blasphemy by  Kuku (South Africa)

Pape Seck - featured on Aw Sa Yone Vol. 2 by Dieuf-Dieul De Thiès (previously unreleased CD, Senegal)

Olivier Tshimanga - Concert symphonie tshimangologie guitare (Avec 60 guitares) (download album also available as DVD titled  Live Halle de la Gombe, Concert Humanitaire;  DR Congo)

Olivier Tshimanga - Tambula malembe (download only, DR Congo)


Reissues

Gred Coker - featured on Assagai by Assagai (Nigeria)

Syran Mbenza & Bopol Mnsiamina  - featured on Chante Eboa Lotin by Tabu Ley Rochereau (R Congo)

Franco, Lutumba Simaro, etc. - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)  (, DR Congo)

Franco, Lutumba Simaro, etc - featured on The Very Best Of Vol 2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

Tricky Johnson, Aggey,Dizzy Acquaye , etc.  - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Lutumba Simaro & probably Papa Noel, etc  –  featured on Maya, l’Album des Albums by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro(DR Congo)

Tala A.M. - African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978 (vinyl or download; Cameroun)

Tala A.M. - Arabica (vinyl or download; Cameroun)

Ebo Taylor - featured on Ebo Taylor & The Pelikans by Ebo Taylor & The Pelikans (vinyl only,Ghana)

Various artists  including Franco - Loningisa early days (download only, DR Congo)

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Saxophonists

Release of the year

Linda Sikhakhane (tenor) - featured on Mother Tongue by Nduduzo Makhathini  (South Africa)


Recommended releases

Mpumi Dhlamini -  featured on  Sekusile by Kabomo (South Africa)

Demara Diop (tenor) & Pape Cissé (alto) - featured on Aw Sa Yone Vol. 2 by Dieuf-Dieul De Thiès (previously unreleased CD, Senegal)

Nzeza Freddy  & Jimmy Mvondo Mvele - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Dave Moses (baritone) - featured on One Destiny by Shokazoba  (afrobeat, USA)

Mthuinzi Mvublu – featured on Bhekisizwe by Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South Africa)

Mthuinzi Mvublu (alto) – featured on Mother Tongue by Nduduzo Makhathini  (South Africa)

Ayo Solanke (tenor & soprano) - featured on Afro Chopin by Don Laka (Nigeria)

Ayo Solanke - The Journey Still (Deluxe Edition) (download only, Nigeria)

Buddy Wells - featured on  From Now On by Nomfundo Xaluva (South Africa)

Buddy Wells - featured on  World Music by Bokani Dyer (South Africa)

Sisonke Xonti – featured on Homecoming by Benjamin Jephta Quintet (South Africa) 


Reissues

Spike Anyankor (alto), Babyface Paul (tenor), E.T. Mensah (alto & tenor)etc. Amoo Dodoo (alto),Rex Ofusu (alto)  - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana except Paul, Nigeria)

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Manu 76 (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -  - Merci! Thank You! Vol 1 (5 CD set, Cameroun)

Orlando Julius - Best of Orlando Julius (Afrobeat, Funk, Soul & Highlife from the '60s-'80s) (download only, Nigeria)

Orlando Julius - Disco Hi-Life (vinyl LP, Nigeria)

Duku Makasi - featured on  Inhlupeko  by The Soul Jazzmen (vinyl only, South Africa)

Winston Mankunku - Collection (South Africa)

Dudu Pukwana (alto) & Bizo Mngqikana (tenor) - featured on Assagai by Assagai (South Africa)




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Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Release of the year

Feya Faku - Live At The SABC M1 Studio (2 DVD set, South Africa)


Recommended releases

Alioune Badara Diop - featured on Aw Sa Yone Vol. 2 by Dieuf-Dieul De Thiès (previously unreleased CD, Senegal)

Feya Faku - Le Ngoma (South Africa)

Mandla Mlangeni – featured on Bhekisizwe by Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South Africa)

Marcus Wyatt & Lwanda Gogwana  - featured on One Night In The Sun by Marcus Wyatt & ZAR Jazz Archestra (2 CD set, South Africa)

Marcus Wyatt – featured on Homecoming by Benjamin Jephta Quintet (South Africa) 


 Reissues

Mongezi Feza - featured on Assagai by Assagai (South Africa)

Christine Kamau - This Is for You (download only, Kenya)

Hugh Masekela - feature d on  The Indispensable 1955-1962 by Miriam Makeba (3 CD set, South Africa)

E.T. Mensah , Zeal Onyia, etc. - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana except Onyia, Nigeria)

Mac Tontoh - featured on Singles As, Bs & 12 Inches by Osibisa (4 CD set; Ghana)

Tunde Williams - featured on Home Made by Manu Dibango (Nigeria)


See also the first recordings by Fela Kuti  (Nigeria)

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Trombone


Recommended releases

Wendo Martial Ahouandjinou  - featured on Go Slow to Lagos by Gangbe Brass Band (Benin)

Adrian Mears - featured on Stories by Carlo Mombelli (South Africa)


Reissues

Tommy Gripman,Glen Koffie, Rich Kodjo , etc.   - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)


Horn Sections

Release of the year

Gangbe Brass Band - Go Slow to Lagos (Benin)


Recommended releases

Amadou Balake’s horn section - In Conclusion (Burkina Faso)

Amandla Freedom Ensemble - Bhekisizwe (South Africa)

Feya Faku - Live At The SABC M1 Studio (2 DVD set, South Africa)

Nzeza Freddy, Jimmy Mvondo Mvele & Kaber Kabasele - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Kayou,  Ezby, Zinga N’gole, Kaber Kabasele, Tumba & Augustin Ndilu - featured on Bombe Atomique by Elba (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Jimmy Mvondo Mvele &Beya Madouma (MoroMaurice) - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley Vol 2 by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Bez Roberts (trombone), Ayo Solanke (tenor), Adam Howard (trumpet) & Sisonke Xonti (baritone, alto) - featured on Immortal Vol .3 by Kabelo (afrobeat/ kwai jazz, South Africa except Solanke, Nigeria)

Shokazoba - One Destiny (afrobeat, USA)

Marcus Wyatt & ZAR Jazz Archestra - One Night In The Sun (2 CD set, South Africa)


 Reissues

Tabu Ley Rochereau’s horn section - featured on Chante Eboa Lotin by Tabu Ley Rochereau (R Congo)

probably T.P.OK Jazz’s horn section- featured on Maya, l’Album des Albums by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro(DR Congo)

T.P.OK Jazz’s horn section  - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo, Angola, Nigeria,Zimbabwe, rtc.)

T.P.OK Jazz’s horn section - featured on The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

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Piano and Keyboards

Release of the year

, Afrika Mkhize - Rain Dancer  (South Africa)


Recommended releases

Xantoné Blacq – featured on Groove Or Die by  Jackson Trio (Nigeria)

Addoulaye Diabate - featured on Back to Africa by Kora Jazz Band (Senegal)

Mpumi Dhlamini - featured on Sekusile by Kabomo(South Africa)

Bokani Dyer - featured on One Night In The Sun by Marcus Wyatt & ZAR Jazz Archestra (2 CD set, Botswana)

Bokani Dyer - World Music (Botswana)

Mark Fransmen - featured on  From Now On by Nomfundo Xaluva (South Africa)

Bheki Khoza - Identity (South Africa)

Don Laka Afro Chopin (South Africa)

Ray Lema - Nzimbu (DR Congo)

Nduduzo Makhathini - Listening To The Ground (2 CD set, South Africa)

Nduduzo Makhathini - featured on Live At The SABC M1 Studio by Feya Faku (2 DVD set, South Africa)

Nduduzo Makhathini - Matunda ya Kwanza, Vol. 1 (South Africa)

Nduduzo Makhathini - Mother Tongue (South Africa)

Nduduzo Makhathini  - Sketches Of Tomorrow (South Africa)

Afrika Mkhize – featured on Bhekisizwe by Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South Africa)

Afrika Mkhize – featured on Playing At The Bird's Eye by Banz Oester & The Rainmakers (South Africa)

Afrika Mkhize  - featured on Ukuzinikela Live at Wllisau by Bänz Oester & The Rainmakers (South Africa)

Jason Moses - - featured on One Destiny by Shokazoba  (afrobeat, USA)

Black Moses Ngema - featured on Undendende (40th Anniversary) by the Soul Brothers (South Africa)

Kyle Shepherd – featured on Homecoming by Benjamin Jephta Quintet (South Africa) 

Dele Sosimi - You No Fit Touch Am (Nigeria)


 Reissues

Abdullah Ibrahim - Mindif (South Africa)

Tete Mbambisa - featured on  Inhlupeko by The Soul Jazzmen (vinyl only, South Africa)

Hailu Mergia - featured on Tche Belew by Hailu Mergia & The Walias (Ethiopia)

Bheki Mseleku - featured on Evergreen hits From The Past by The Drive (South Africa)

Dudu Pukwana - featured on Assagai by Assagai (South Africa)

Ndikho Xaba - featured on Ndikho Xaba & the Natives by Ndikho Xaba & the Natives (South Africa)


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Bass

Release of the year

Etienne Mbappe  - featured on Bombay Makossa by  Chingari  (Cameroun)


Recommended releases

Shane Cooper - featured on  World Music by Bokani Dyer (South Africa)

Richard Epesse - AfroJazzMix Cameroun)

Makabi Flavien - featured on Bombe Atomique by Elba (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Benjamin Jephta – featured on Homecoming by Benjamin Jephta Quintet (South Africa) 

Benjamin Jephta  - featured on Mother Tongue by Nduduzo Makhathini  (South Africa)

Etienne Mbappe  - featured on Asian Twistz: Live in Asia by Oz Noy Trio (Cameroun)

Etienne Mbappe  - featured on Black Light by John McLaughlin (Cameroun)

Harry Miller - featured on  Dawn by Mike Osborne (previously unreleased, South Africa)

Carlo Mombelli - Stories (South Africa)

Ricky Nanjero - Tucheze (download only, Kenya)

Jay Owlhouses - featured on One Destiny by Shokazoba  (afrobeat, USA)

Theo Pascal - featured on Epistola by Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal (Portugal)


Consider also: Marcus Miller - Afrodezia (USA)


 Reissues

Richard Bona - This Is Richard Bona  (2 CD set, Cameroun)

Joe Bosnan, Joe Ransford, etc. - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Johnny Dyani & Thomas Östergren -  featured on Afrika by Johnny Dyani (Vinyl LP, South Africa and Sweden respectively)

Vicky Edimo - featured on Home Made by Manu Dibango (Cameroun)

Decca Mpudi & Makabi Flavien  - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)

Decca Mpudi & Makabi Flavien  - featured on  The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

Charles Ononogbo -  featured on Assagai by Assagai (Nigeria)


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Drums

Release of the year

Louis Moholo Moholo - featured on Born Free by Livio Minafra & Louis Moholo Moholo  (CD /DVD set, South Africa)



Recommended releases

Claude Cozens - featured on Matunda ya Kwanza, Vol. 1 by Nduduzo Makhathini (South Africa)

Kevin Gibson - featured on  From Now On by Nomfundo Xaluva (South Africa)

Elias Kacomanolis - featured on Epistola by Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal  (Mozambique)

Tumi Mogorosi – featured on Bhekisizwe by Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South Africa)

Louis Moholo Moholo - featured on  Dawn by Mike Osborne (previously unreleased, South Africa)

Louis Moholo Moholo - featured on Rebel Flames by Canto Gerneral (South Africa)

Kevisan Naidoo - featured on Live At The SABC M1 Studio by Feya Faku (2 DVD set, South Africa)

Frank Paco - featured on Buyanini by Frank Paco Art Ensemble (download only, Mozambique)

Ayanda Sikade - featured on Listening To The Ground by Nduduzo Makhathini (2 CD set, South Africa)

Ayanda Sikade - featured on Mother Tongue by Nduduzo Makhathini  (South Africa)

Ayanda Sikade – featured on Playing At The Bird's Eye by Banz Oester & The Rainmakers (South Africa)

Ayanda Sikade - featured on Sketches Of Tomorrow by Nduduzo Makhathini (South Africa)

Ayanda Sikade - featured on Ukuzinikela Live at Wllisau by Bänz Oester & The Rainmakers (South Africa)

Rob Watson & Sello Montwedi  - featured on Afro Chopin by Don Laka (South Africa)

Marlon Witbooi - featured on  World Music by Bokani Dyer (South Africa)


 Reissues

Gilbert Mathews -  featured on Afrika by Johnny Dyani (Vinyl LP, South Africa)

Louis Moholo Moholo - featured on Assagai by Assagai (South Africa)

Ntoya Fwala Pajos - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo) Congo)

Ntoya Fwala Pajos & Nado Kakoma - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)

Ntoya Fwala Pajos & Nado Kakoma - featured on The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)



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Percussion

Release of the year

Osama Meleegi - Sudanese Afrobeats (Sudan)


Recommended releases

Thomas Dyani  - featured on One Word by Judith Sephuma (South Africa)

Moussa Sissokho - featured on Back to Africa by Kora Jazz Band (Senegal)

Baba Sissoko - featured on Jazz (R)evolution by Baba Sissoko With Antonello Salis - Famoudou Don Moye (Mali)


 Reissues

Tom Thumb Addo (Tom-Tom),  Dan Acquaye. Kofi Aviyor,etc.  -  - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Dessouin. etc. - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)

Dessouin. etc. - featured on The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

Thomas Dyani  -  featured on Afrika by Johnny Dyani (Vinyl LP, South Africa)

Osibisa - Singles As, Bs & 12 Inches (4 CD set; Ghana, Caribbean)

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Vocalists Female

Release of the year

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley (DR Congo)


Recommended releases

Janaya Collins - featured on One Destiny by Shokazoba  (afrobeat, USA)

Simphiwe Dana - Firebrand (South Africa)

Grace Decca - Mouna (Cameroun)

Angelique Kidjo – Sings with the Luxembourg Philharmonic (Benin)

Siya Makuzeni  - featured on One Night In The Sun by Marcus Wyatt & ZAR Jazz Archestra (2 CD set, South Africa)

Mathey - Tu m'as dit (Cote D’Ivoire)

Coco Mbassi - Jóa (Cameroun)

Nneka - Fairy Tales (Nigeria)

Tutu Puoane - Ilanga (South Africa)

Kearoma Rantao - When the Music Plays (download only, Botswana)

Judith Sephuma - One Word (South Africa)

Somi - The Lagos Music Salon (USA/ Uganda, Rwanda)

Carmen Souza - featured on Epistola by Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal (Cabo Verde/Portugal)

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley Vol 2 (DR Congo)

Nomfundo Xaluva - From Now On (South Africa)


Reissues

Miriam Makeba -  The Indispensable 1955 -1962 (3 CD set, South Africa)

Letta Mbulu - In The Music... The Village Never Ends (vinyl only, South Africa)

Mary Afi Usuah - Ekpenyong Abasi (Nigeria)


See also the groundbreaking 1950’s recordings by Julie Okine (Ghana)


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Vocalists Male

Release of the year

Ferre Gola - Concert Odimba et Accousitque au Grand Hotel de Kinshasa  (DVD, DR Congo)


Recommended releases

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley - Afrikan Soul (Ghana)

Amadou Balake - In Conclusion (Burkina Faso)

Blick Bassy - Ako (Cameroun)

Jonathan Butler - Free (South Africa)

Elba - Bombe Atomique (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Kabomo Sekusile (South Africa)

Karmapa - Concert Live (Cd/DVD st, DR Congo)

Salif Keita - featured on Rebirth by Les Ambassadeurs (EP. Mali)

Mbuso Khoza - featured on Stories by Carlo Mombelli (South Africa)

Kuku - Ballads & Blasphemy (Nigeria)

Ray Lema - Nzimbu  (DR Congo)

Shanti Lo - Shanti Lo (download only, Botswana)

Dodô Miranda - Christmas with Dodô Miranda (download only, Angola)

Sam'M - Oa Na NBA  (Cameroun)

Desouza Santu - Les Ambassadeurs (DR Congo)

Sarkodie - Mary (download only, Ghana)

Gino Sitson - Voi Strings (Cameroun)

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band - Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)

Diassy T'Zen - Qui Vibra, Vivra (EP, DR Congo)

Consider also Koffi Olomide on his 13eme Apôtre  (4 CD set, DR Congo)


 Reissues

Dan Acquaye, etc. - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Richard Bona - This Is Richard Bona  (2 CD set, Cameroun)

Defao - The Undertaker (DVD, DR Congo)

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Manu 76 (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Merci! Thank You! Vol 1 (5 CD set, Cameroun)

Franco, Ntesa Dalienst, Wuta Mayi , Ndombe Opetum,  Josky Kiambukuta, Sam Mangwana, etc. - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)

Orlando Julius - Best of Orlando Julius (Afrobeat, Funk, Soul & Highlife from the '60s-'80s) (download only, Nigeria)

Orlando Julius - Disco Hi-Life (vinyl LP, Nigeria)

Carlyto Lassa, Pepe Kalle, Madilu System, Lola Checain, Lokombe Ntal, Josky Kiambukuta - featured on Maya, l’Album des Albums by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro(DR Congo)

Djo Mpoyi, Franco, Sam Mangwana, Madilu System and other T.P.OK Jazz members - featured on - The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 &4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

Tabu Ley Rochereau - Chante Eboa Lotin (DR Congo)

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Vocal duets and multi voice groups

Release of the year

Madilu System, Malage de Lungendo, Elba Top A, Canta Nyboma & Abby Suriya  - featured on  Bye Bye Vol 1 & 2 by Benz Petrole (DR Congo) Note: the jazz tacks on this double album are Vol 1: tracks 2 & 4; Vol 2: tracks 1,3 & 5


Recommended releases

Elba Top A, Canta Nyboma, Wuta Mayi, Theo Blaise Kounkou, Feya Tess, etc. - featured on Bombe Atomique by Elba (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Karmapa - Concert Live (Cd/DVD st, DR Congo)

Ray Lema, Ballou Canta & Freddy Massamba -Nzimbu (DR Congo except Massamba, Congo Brazzaville)

The Soil - Nostalgic Moments (South Africa)

Swing City - Well Sung (South Africa)

Feya Tess & Canta Nyboma - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley Vol 2 by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Diassy T'Zen - Qui Vibra, Vivra (EP, DR Congo)


Consider also Koffi Olomide in duets with Cindy le Coeur & other vocalists on his 13eme Apôtre  (4 CD set, DR Congo)


Reissues

The Manhattan Brothers & Miriam and the Skylarks - feature d on  The Indispensable 1955 -1962 by Miriam Makeba (3 CD set, South Africa)

Carlyto Lassa, Pepe Kalle, Madilu Système, Lola Checain, Lokombe Ntal, Josky Kiambukuta - featured on Maya, l’Album des Albums by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro (DR Congo)

T.P.OK Jazz - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo, etc.)

T.P.OK Jazz - featured on The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

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Big Bands

Release of the year

Shokazoba - One Destiny (afrobeat, USA)


Recommended releases

Les Ambassadeurs -Rebirth (EP. Mali)

Atomga –Black Belt (digital download only. Afrobeat; USA)

Elba - Bombe Atomique (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Les Freres Smith - Free to Go ( afrobeat/ Ethio jazz,France)

Feya Faku - Live At The SABC M1 Studio (2 DVD set, South Africa)

No Go Stop - Agbara Orin  (afrobeat, UK)

Warsaw Afrobeat Orchestra - Wëndelu (afrobeat, Poland)

Marcus Wyatt & ZAR Jazz Archestra - One Night In The Sun (2 CD set, South Africa)


Reissues

Tabu Ley Rochereau - Chante Eboa Lotin (DR Congo)

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - Maya, l’Album des Albums (DR Congo)

T.P.OK Jazz - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo, etc.)

T.P.OK Jazz - featured on The Very Best Of Vol .2,3 & 4 by Le Poète Lutumba Simaro ( DR Congo)

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Small Bands

Release of the year

Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal - Epistola ( Cabo Verde, Portugal. Mozambique)


Recommended releases

Amandla Freedom Ensemble - Bhekisizwe (South Africa)

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley - Afrikan Soul (Ghana)

Amadou Balake - In Conclusion (Burkina Faso)

Blick Bassy - Ako (Cameroun, France)

Ablaye Cissoko - Griot: The Soundtrack (Senegal)

Simphiwe Dana - Firebrand (South Africa & Nigeria)

Dieuf-Dieul De Thies  - Aw Sa Yone Vol. 2 (previously unreleased, Senegal)

Bokani Dyer - World Music (Botswana & South Africa)

Vaudou Game - Apiafo (Togo/ France)

Benjamin Jephta QuintetHomecoming (South Africa)

KabomoSekusile (South Africa)

Karmapa - Concert Live (Cd/DVD st, DR Congo)

Bheki Khoza – Asambe (South Africa)

Kora Jazz Band - Back to Africa (Senegal)

Kuku - Ballads & Blasphemy (Nigeria, South Africa, etc.)

Don Laka – Afro Chopin (South Africa & Nigeria)

Ray Lema -Nzimbu (DR Congo, Brazil & Congo Brazzaville)

Shanti Lo - Shanti Lo (Botswana)

London Afrobeat Collective - Food Chain  (afrobeat, UK)

Lionel Loueke - Gaïa (Benin/ USA)

Osama Meleegi - Sudanese Afrobeats (Sudan)

Midnight Ravers - Balani Show (Mali)

Nduduzo Makhathini - Mother Tongue (South Africa)

Afrika Mkhize - Rain Dancer  (South Africa)

Livio Minafra & Louis Moholo Moholo - Born Free by   (CD /DVD set, Italy & South Africa)

Monoswezi - Monoswezi Yanga (Zimbabwe/Scandinavia)

Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa (DR Congo)

Ricky Nanjero - Tucheze (download only, Kenya)

Tutu Puoane - Ilanga (South Africa)

Kearoma Rantao - When the Music Plays (download only, Botswana)

Somi - The Lagos Music Salon (USA/ Uganda, Rwanda)

Dele Sosimi - You No Fit Touch Am (Nigeria)

Soul Brothers - Undendende (40th Anniversary)  (South Africa)

The Souljazz Orchestra – RESISTANCE (Afrobeat/ / Congolese/ Ethio jazz, Canada)

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley (DR Congo)

Feya Tess - Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley Vol 2 (DR Congo)

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band - Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)

Trans-Kalahari Quintet - Back to Basics (Botswana)

Diassy T'Zen - Qui Vibra, Vivra (EP, DR Congo)

Vula Viel - Good Is Good (UK/ Ghana)

Nomfundo  Xaluva - From Now On (South Africa)


Consider also Koffi Olomide on his 13eme Apôtre  (4 CD set, DR Congo)


Reissues

Assagai - Assagai (Nigeria & South Africa)

Bembeya Jazz - Sous La Direction De Diaouni Hamidou (vinyl or download, Giunnee Conakry)

Jo Bisso – Dance To It  (vinyl only,Cameroun)

Richard Bona - This Is Richard Bona  (2 CD set, Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -Ceddo (Bande originale du film)  (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Manu 76 (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -  - Merci! Thank You! Vol 1 (5 CD set, Cameroun)

The Drive - Evergreen hits From The Past (South Africa)

Johnny Dyani -  Afrika (Vinyl LP, South Africa)

Hasabe -  Hasabe (Vinyl LP, Ethiopia)

Abdullah Ibrahim - Minduf (South Africa)

Orchestre Du Jardin De Guinee - Sous La Direction De Onivogui Balla (vinyl or download, Giunnee Conakry)

Orlando Julius - Best of Orlando Julius (Afrobeat, Funk, Soul & Highlife from the '60s-'80s) (download only, Nigeria)

Orlando Julius - Disco Hi-Life (vinyl LP, Nigeria)

Christine Kamau - This Is for You (download only, Kenya)

Winston Mankunku - Collection (South Africa)

Letta Mbulu - In The Music... The Village Never Ends (vinyl only, South Africa)

E.T. Mensah & The Tempos - King of Highlife Anthology (4 CD set, Ghana)

Osibisa - Singles As, Bs & 12 Inches (4 CD set; Ghana, Caribbean)

Orchestre Paillote - Sous La Direction De Traore Keletigu (vinyl or download, Giunnee Conakry)

Jake Sollo - Jake Sollo  (vinyl only,Cameroun)

Sookie - Sookie  (vinyl only,Cameroun)

The Soul Jazzmen - Inhlupeko (vinyl only, South Africa)

Tala A.M. - African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978 (vinyl or download; Cameroun)

Tala A.M. - Arabica (vinyl or download; Cameroun)

Ebo Taylor & The Pelikans - Ebo Taylor & The Pelikans (vinyl only,Ghana)

Jo Tongo - Jo Tongo (vinyl only,Cameroun)

Amara Toure - Touré 1973​-​1980 (Guinee Conakry)

Mary Afi Usuah - Ekpenyong Abasi (Nigeria)

Various artists - Africa Airways One: Funk Connection 1973-1980 ‎(vinyl or download,Cameroun, etc.)

Various artists - Africa Airways \\two: Funk Connection 1973-1982 ‎vinyl or download,(Cameroun, etc.)

Various artists - Beyond Addis: Contemporary Jazz & Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s (Ethio jazz, France, UK, etc.)

Various Artists - Highlife On The Move: Selected Nigerian & Ghanaian Recordings from London & Lagos 1954-66 (2 CD set, Nigeria & Ghana)

Various artists - Light & Sound Of Mogadishu (Somalia)

Various artists  including Franco & Vicky Longomba - Loningisa early days (download only, DR Congo)

Various artists - Musique Sans Paroles (vinyl or download, Giunnee Conakry)

Ndikho Xaba & the Natives - Ndikho Xaba & the Natives (South Africa & USA)


See also the first recordings by Fela Kuti (Nigeria)

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Multi instrumentalists

Release of the year

Tony Cedras - Love Letter to Cape Town (download only, South Africa)


Recommended release

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley - Afrikan Soul (Ghana)

Mpumi Dhlamini - featured on Sekusile by Kabomo (South Africa)

Ray Lema -Nzimbu (DR Congo)

Carmen Souza - featured on Epistola by Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal (Cabo Verde/Portugal)

Dexter Story - Wondem (Ethio jazz; USA)

Kwame Yeboah  - featured on Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)


 Reissues

Abdullah Ibrahim - Minduf (South Africa)

E.T. Mensah - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

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Arrangers


Release of the year

Don Laka – Afro Chopin (South Africa)


Recommended releases

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley -The Different Shades of Ambolley by Gyedu-Blay Ambolley (Ghana)

Blick Bassy - Ako (Cameroun)

Bokani Dyer - World Music (Botswana)

Karmapa - Concert Live (Cd/DVD st, DR Congo)

Bheki Khoza – Asambe (South Africa)

Ray Lema -Nzimbu (DR Congo)

Carmen Souza & Theo Pascal - Epistola ( Cabo Verde, Portugal. Mozambique)


Consider also Koffi Olomide on his 13eme Apôtre  (4 CD set, DR Congo)


 Reissues

Richard Bona - This Is Richard Bona  (2 CD set, Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -Ceddo (Bande originale du film)  (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Manu 76 (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -  - Merci! Thank You! Vol 1 (5 CD set, Cameroun)

E.T. Mensah - featured on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Tabu Ley Rochereau - Chante Eboa Lotin (DR Congo)

Caiphus Semenya - featured on In The Music... The Village Never Ends by Letta Mbulu (vinyl only, South Africa)

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - Maya, l’Album des Albums (DR Congo)

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Composers


Release of the year

Tabu Ley Rochereau - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)



Recommended releases

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley -T (Ghana)

Blick Bassy - Ako (Cameroun)

Frédéric Chopin - featured on Afro Chopin by Don Laka (Poland)

Bokani Dyer - World Music (Botswana)

Karmapa - Concert Live (CD/DVD set, DR Congo)

Bheki Khoza – Asambe (South Africa)

Afrika Mkhize - Rain Dancer  (South Africa)

Tabu Ley Rochereau - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley Vol 2 by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Pat Thomas & Ebo Taylor - featured on Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)

Diassy T'Zen - Qui Vibra, Vivra (EP, DR Congo)

Various artists - featured on  Les Ambassadeurs by Desouza Santu (DR Congo)


Consider also Koffi Olomide on his 13eme Apôtre  (4 CD set, DR Congo)

2

Reissues

Richard Bona - This Is Richard Bona  (2 CD set, Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -Ceddo (Bande originale du film)  (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Home Made (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango - Manu 76 (Cameroun)

Manu Dibango -  - Merci! Thank You! Vol 1 (5 CD set, Cameroun)

Franco, Ntesa Dalienst, Wuta Mayi , Ndombe Opetum,  Josky Kiambukuta, & Sam Mangwana - featured on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 1 & 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)

Orlando Julius - Best of Orlando Julius (Afrobeat, Funk, Soul & Highlife from the '60s-'80s) (download only, Nigeria)

Winston Mankunku - Collection (South Africa)

Bheki Mseleku - featured on Evergreen hits From The Past by The Drive (South Africa)

Dudu Pukwana & Mongezi Feza - featured on  (South Africa)

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - Maya, l’Album des Albums (DR Congo)

Le Poète Lutumba Simaro - The Very Best Of Vol .2., 3. And 4. ( DR Congo)

Various artists -- featured on Chante Eboa Lotin by Tabu Ley Rochereau (Cameroun, DR Congo, Guinee Conakry, Kenya, Nigeria, etc.)

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Electronica

Some Recommended releases

Black Coffee - Pieces Of Me (South Africa)

Mobi Dixon – Tribal Soul (South Africa)

Kabelo - Immortal Vol .3 (afrobeat/ kwai jazz, South Africa)

Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa (DR Congo)

Sarkodie - Mary (download only, Ghana)

Trompies – Delicious (South Africa)


 Reissues

Hailu Mergia & The Walias -Tche Belew (Ethiopia)

Joe Nina - Greatest Hits At 40 (South Africa)

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Miscellaneous Instruments


Recommended releases


Gyil

Bex Burch - featured on Good Is Good by Vula Viel  (UK/ Ghana)


Kora

Ablaye Cissoko - Griot: The Soundtrack (Senegal)

Yakouba Sissokho - featured on Back to Africa by Kora Jazz Band (Senegal)


Mbira/thumb piano

Monoswezi - Monoswezi Yanga (Zimbabwe)

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Some memorable brief appearances


Release of the year

Tony Allen - featured on Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band  (Ghana)


Recommended releases

Tony Allen - featured on Ballads & Blasphemy by Kuku (Nigeria)

Tony Allen - Film of Life Remixes Nigeria)

Bhudaza & Tsepo Tshola - featured on TThaba Di Njhebile by Bonolo (Lesotho)

Richard Bona - featured on the track Barco di Papel on Heranca by Lura (Cameroun)

Jonathan Butler  & George Duke - featured on Mouna by Grace Decca   (South Africa & USA respectively)

Ferre Gola  - featured on the track Cobetox in duet on  Koffi Olomide’s 13eme Apôtre  (DR Congo)

Ferre Gola  - featured on the track Vieux jaloux on his album Dérangement (DR Congo)

Josky Kiambukuta &T.P..OK Jazz - featured on the previously unreleased track Toto on Hommage a Franco 25 Ans Vol 2 by Franco / Simaro / Ndombe (DR Congo)

Kabomo – featured on the title track of Ilanga by Tutu Puoane (South Africa)

Angelique Kidjo - featured on the track Lady Revisited by Somi on The Lagos Music Salon (Benin)

Femi Kuti - featured on the track Yoruba on Go Slow to Lagos by Gangbe Brass Band (Nigeria)

Scorpion Madondo, Glen Mafoko & Tu Nokwe - featured on Asambe by Bheki Khoza (South Africa)n

Hugh Masekela & Dele Sosimi - featured on In My City by Ralf Gum (South Africa & Nigeria respectively)

Afrika Mkhize - featured on Firebrand by Simphiwe Dana   (South Africa)


McCoy Mrubata - featured on It Used to Be Blue by McCoy Mrubata, Ashish Joshi & Greg Georgiades (digital download track, South Africa)

Bheki Mseleku - featured as composer of the track Beauty of Sunrise on Afrika Mkhize's Rain Dancer (South Africa)

Canta Nyboma - featured on  Les Ambassadeurs by Desouza Santu (DR Congo)

Canta Nyboma - featured on Quelques Classiques de Tabu Ley by Feya Tess (DR Congo)

Makabi Flavien & Caen Madoka - featured on  Bye Bye Vol 1 & 2 by Benz Petrole (DR Congo)

 Pat Thomas - featured on Mary by Sarkodie (download only, Ghana)

Marcus Wyatt - featured on Silver Moonbeams by  Ziza Muftic Quartet (South Africa)

Zongo Junction - Big Sir  (digital download track, Afrobeat; USA))


 Reissues

Spike Anyankor - featured as lead vocalist on the tracks All for You & Tea Samba on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Tommy Gripman - featured as lead vocalist on the track Shemi ni Oha  on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

Orlando Julius - James Brown Ride On (10" vinyl, Nigeria)

Fela Kuti - featured on the tracks Fela’s Special and Aigana by Fela Ransome-Kuti & The Highlife Rakers on Highlife On The Move: Selected Nigerian & Ghanaian Recordings from London & Lagos 1954-66 by Various Artists  (2 CD set, Nigeria)

Spokes Mashiyane - featured on Miriam Makeba & The Skylarks - Very Best Of (2 CD set, South Africa)

Julie Okine - featured as lead vocalist on the tracks Nothing But Man’s Slave  &The Tree and The Monkey on  King of Highlife Anthology by  E.T. Mensah & The Tempos(4 CD set, Ghana)

DVD documentaries


Feya Faku - documentary DVD featured as one of the DVDs in Live At The SABC M1 Studio (2 DVD set, South Africa)

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