© Ben Robertson 2006 -
2011 – Reviews
Reviews archived from intuition online:
To see recommended recordings for 2011 click here.
Live recordings made in Africa with full on audience participation predominate among
the best releases of 2011. The best release of the year slot goes to Hugh Masekela.
Seventy two year old Bra Hugh doesn’t blow quite as hard as he once did nor is his
voice quite so smooth but on his DVD/CD set “Live at Carnival City” he makes up for
this in spades, performing his heart out fronting a ,tripped down four piece band
consisting of new young musicians together with veteran stalwart Fana Zulu on bass.
There’s no vocal chorus, no horn section, no percussionists and yet this release
features more performers than any other new African jazz release this year. How come?
Bra Hugh’s young audience sing along from the first the few bars until the last
note. Whether this ecstatic audience fired up Bra Hug and his band or whether they
did the same to their audience isn’t clear-
Mbilia Bel’s CD/DVD set “Bakolo Mindule” is a flawed release. The sound drops out at times, the editing is problematic and about a third of the tracks don’t feature Bel at all. But the performance at the core of this issue, consisting of Bel singing and dancing to the Tabu Ley Rochereau compositions for which se is best known, in front of a small rumba band is as close as we mortals can get to perfection. Her audience are on their feet from first to last and the brightly lit Kinshasa TV studio enables the viewer to see and read the expressions on their faces. Bel’s audience, much of which is middle aged by now, is in love. When you see the grace with which she moves and hear her magnificent voice you will start to understand and when,with repeated listening,you grasp just how subtle and supremely sophisticated her sense of timing is you will fall in love with her too.
Lágbájá’s v video CD “E Gbà Mi O!” consists partly of promo clips for songs previously released on his recent studio CDs and partly of new live material. The combination hangs together well and this release is a coherent work of art which marks a strong return to form. If contemporary African jazz has a figure as important as Franco, Fela or Kippie Moeketsi it is surely Lágbájá. Lágbájá is an anonymous masked artist whose name means “somebody” or “anybody” and t the most memorable parts of this release are about what Lágbájá’s identity means. At one point,the camera pans across an empty stage in front of a huge crowd loudly chanting one of Lágbájá ’s unmistakable choruses. A sax solo starts and the audience explodes with delight while the camera frantically searches for the elusive. Lágbájá who slowly emerges in the middle of the crowd wearing is mask and playing his sax like a god.
Lágbájá ‘s creative burring of the distinction between himself and his audience
would please the late avant-
The reissue of the year however is Sathima Bea Benjamin’s “Sathima sings Ellington” produced by her husband d and fellow Ellington devotee Abdúllah Ibrahim. Benjamin is best known as an interpreter of Ellington’s songs and it’s not difficult to hear why on this glorious 1979 set augmented by several non Ellington bonus tracks of an equally high standard. An essential purchase with immediate appeal and lasting charms.
An equally great release from the same era, but which has never seen the light of day before is “Elton Dean's Ninesense Suite Becket/Miller/Moholo ” featuring fellow South African exiles: drummer Louis Moholo –Moholo and double bassist Harry Miller. This release is a supreme example of what used to be called Free Jazz when it was recorded live in Germany in 1981 and 1982 but which is more frequently referred to as improvised music these days. It demonstrates what happens when great African musicians are forcibly prevented from interacting creatively with their African audience in the way Bebey describes. The freedom and passion in these great performances is as much political as musical. The exiled South Africans had fire in their bellies and the best of the music they made will probably never be matched. Indeed like First World War poetry’ it continues to inspire in such a way that one hopes no one will ever again have to experience what its creators endured. At the same time one can’t help but acknowledge the extraordinary power and magnetism of what the South African exiles did. Certainly they galvanised the generation of Free Jazz musicians they encountered. The power of their music and politics was contagious – which explains in large part the quality of performance and commitment they elicited in their musical collaborators and from Western audiences. That is why their every recording is so sought after and is what fuels a veritable industry unearthing and releasing more and more recordings. Not all such issues and reissues are all tat good – but the best of these musicians performances are like the Holy Grail and this is certainly one such recording: featuring what is perhaps Miller’s finest ever recorded performance and Moholo in exceptional form.
Freedom in contemporarily South Africa is a more complex and elusive concept. The
The best new jazz from South Africa this year however comes in the form of trumpeter Brian Thusi’s second CD “Future Talk”. The sleeve notes describe his outfit as a “collective” and it does sound like a genuinely collaborative effort featuring a host of younger and new musicians listening to one another and giving their all in a manner that would please Messrs Moholo and Miller. This surely, is what freedom is really all about.
Sadder news from South Africa concerns the death of saxophonist and composer Zim Ngqwana, the post apartheid musician most closely allied with free jazz. Zim’s recordings sometimes erred n the side of pretension but I was lucky enough to hear him live in his prime performing for of a large audience at the open air Heidelburg Kloof jazz festival outside Johannesburg in 1998 and his set, consisting mostly of material from “Zimology” was a revelation. The entire audience seemed to know every note of this recording and danced throughout. He was a free jazz giant in a genuinely African manner of which Francis Bebey would have thoroughly approved.
Happily the promising new arrivals on the African jazz scene far outnumber the musicians who passed away or retired in 2011. Best of the lot are the Addis Acoustic Project who have breathed life into a set of Ethiopian jazz standards from the 1950's and 60’s. Theirs is a beautiful CD which even gives veteran Mulatu Aststatke’s fabulously good new CD “Mulatu Astatke Steps Ahead” a serious run for its money. Another stunning debut comes from baritone saxophonist Abidemi Adebiyi Adekunle who stole the show at live performances to promote the latest Egypt 80/ Seun Anipulako Kuti CD “From Africa with Fury: Rise.” His showing on the recording is equally strong. Kevin Mfinka from Congo Brazzaville makes a strong debut too on “Congo Bolingo” especially in the style and quality of his percussion playing. From South Africa come a first solo CD from Thandiswa’s promising young guitarist Sunnyboy; Bernice Boikanyo, a strong and distinctive sounding new kit drummer and best of all the pianist, female vocalist and composer Nikiyase whose first CD “Mudar É Bom” has everything one could ask of a newcomer: abundant talent, originality, ambition, optimism and exuberance. Another promising new pianist is Sbusiso Dlamini whose CD with Ological Studies suggests he has the potential to develop into a star.
Apart from the plethora of release lit up by creative interaction between performers and their audiences, the other striking thing about 2011’s release is that the most keenly contested category, perhaps surprisingly, is that of arranger. Releases from Mulatu Astatke, Lekan Animaushen, Manu Dibango, Abdullah Ibrahum, Hugh Masekela, Nyboma and Caiphus Semenya feature some of the best arrangements of their illustrious careers. It seems therefore that the reason for this trend is simple: arranging is what African jazz musicians like to do when they get old. Several less well established stars pitch in too: notably Simphiwe Dana and especially Lawrence Matshikiza for his work with Siphokhazi. Choosing just one of these as the best of the year has been a delightful dilemma. In the end Caiphus Semenya gets the nod for being such a noteworthy arranger throughout his entire career: the crispness, clarity and art with which he marshals is musicians on his “Live at Carnival City” is the unique, unmistakable hallmark of this grandee of African jazz.
The biggest disappointment of the year has been the lack of new recordings from the gifted Kenyan saxophonist/singer/composer Joseph Hellon who was arrested last year. The good news earlier in the year was that he was out performing again. A new live DVD with pianist Aaron “Krucial” Keys was announced and presumably recorded too but, as far as I can tell, hasn’t actually materialised. The track listing included many of his best compositions plus a cover version of Mafíkizlo’s “Hamba Nawe.” Let’s hope Hellon and his DVD surface in 2012.
There hasn’t been much jazz from DR Congo either in 2011 aside from Mbilia Bel’s live set described above and her strong studio CD “The Queen.” The impression gleaned from talking to Congolese friends and watching the inspiring documentary “Benda Bilili” about a group of disabled musicians from Kinshasa, the capital city of African music, is that the economy in Congo is more difficult than ever for musicians. Koffi Olomide’s’ “Chante Lutumba” and Ferre Gola’s exquisite “50 ans de la Musiqe Congolaise” remind us of what we’re missing. Listen for example to Ferre’s singing on “Mi Amor” (track 11 on the CD) which is one of the high points of African jazz in 2011.
And the banjo? Those willing to branch out and experiment with different aspects
of Congolese music are pointed in the direction of “The Karindula Sessions: Tradi-
Reviews archived from intuition online
The following reviews originally appeared at Intuition online between April and December
2011 They can also be read at the music section of where all these archived reviews
originally appeared, thanks to the curiosity and foresight of the great team who
Dim the lights, lean back in your easy chair and enjoy – as you’d expect from someone with Manu Dibango’s pedigree his new CD “Ballad Emotion” is a class act and arguably the best sax release from Africa for quite some time. The veteran Camerounian’s much yearned for new recording is a slow to mid tempo mood piece consisting mostly of beautiful arrangements of African American jazz standards. It’s difficult to think of a cooler way to chill. His vibraphone playing here is exquisite too.
Guitar lovers are also in for a treat with Mozambiquan Jimmy Dludlu’s new CD “Tonota.”
The opener “How About The Ones in The Village” is one of the best tracks of the year.
Dludlu is much more than a good guitarist with a Lusophone lilt and a great percussionist
(John Hassan) –as demonstrated in the series of hit records he’s made over the years
with the superlative house afrika duo Revolution where his guitar and Hassan are
entirely absent. Dluddlu seems to draw on this experience at some of the best moments
on “Tonota” where he imports and mixes in house like elements as in the opening track
and on “Shisa Nyama.” The other great attribute demonstrated in his work with Revolution
has been his uncanny ear for haunting snippets of melody -
South African diva Simphiwe Dana has a unique, extraordinary sound. There’s no mystique
about this – she has a voice like Marmite and engagingly reveals in an in interview
included in her first DVD “An Evening with Simphiwe Dana” (also available on CD and
1 December 2011
one can argue about who is the greatest African jazz musician: Franco, Fela or Makeba
perhaps? But as to who is the most influential, there isn't a shadow of doubt about
What Dr Nico did was rooted in traditional Congolese dance music. An intriguing but
all too brief CD "Survivance" from Franklin Boukaka enlightens us about this process
by replacing the lead guitar with two mbira thumb pianos neatly illustrating the
origin of what Dr Nico was doing along with his brother Dechaud. This lovely Boukaka
release from 1967 has been reissued on the elusive Bolibana label and despite being
less than twenty minutes long is well worth looking for. Apart from anything else
it demonstrates that it is erroneous to describe Dr Nico's style as Latin or Afro
Dr Nico's influence on his contemporaries was near universal. Virtually all the electric guitarists featured in the other three double CD sets in the "Afro Latin via" series ~("Dakar," "Bamako" and "Cotonu") are indebted to Nico as are the Tanzanian guitarists featured on the recent and pleasing retrospective collection "Sounds of Happiness, Poison and Ululation" by Western Jazz Band.
What would all this music have sounded like without Dr Nico's influence? The tracks on "Afro Latin via Kinshasa" featuring Le Grand Kallé's African Team give us an insightful answer. This was the outfit Kallé formed after the departure of Nico from African Jazz. In African Team he dispensed with lead guitar altogether. The resultant sound is much more Latin and indeed, to this critic's ears, African Team remains the definitive Afro Latin band.
Why did Nco have such massive influence? The best place to look for an answer in
the current cop of releases is to be found n Mbilia Bel's fabulous though poorly
engineered new live CD/DVD set "Bakolo Mindule". Coming hard on the heels of her
recent strong studio set this release demonstrates effortlessly why Bel is such a
great artist -
.1 November 2011
From a jazz perspective there are two big stories from this year's South African
Music Awards (SAMA). Firstly,Tutu Puoane won the SAMA for Best Traditional Jazz Album
for an unprecedented second year in a row with her lovely big band CD "Mama Africa."
Not since Moses Taiwa Molelekwa won both big jazz prizes (traditional and contemporary)
in 1994 at the age of 21 with his debut CD "Finding Oneself" has any jazz artist
made quite such a splash at SAMA. Well done, Tutu. Fittingly, in the year which marks
the tenth anniversary of Molelekwa's death, the best track on Tutu's CD is a cover
version of his best known composition "Mountain Shade" which first appeared on "Finding
Oneself." But the best place of all to ,start an acquaintance with Tutu's magnificent
music and voice remains "Mpho" -
2011's SAMAA for Contemporary Jazz went to Ological Studies CD "OS Freedom." The
piano playing of their composer Sibusiso Dlamini is impressive even by South Africa's
high standards -
In fact it is often the case at SAMA that much of the most interesting new music explores the links between jazz and the dance floor. A key player in this is the record label Kalawa Jazmee and from a jazz perspective it is their triumph at SAMA 2011 which is the second really big story. Kalawa Jazmee is easily the most influential record label specialising in new dance music fused with electronica and elements of jazz in Africa and has been since the mid 1990s; so their triumph at this year's SAMA is richly deserved. Their new signing Professor won Best Male Artist, Best Kwaito Album and Best Song ("Imoto") for his CD "University of Kalawa Jazmee."
As if thus weren't enough, Thandiswa, winner of Best Female Artist and Best Urban
DVD for her "Dance of the Forgotten Free" is a Kalawa Jazmee graduate too. This concert
recording is the first ever African jazz release in BLU-
Kalawa Jazmee fans are further advised to check out the tenth instalment of Oskido's "Church Grooves." Even after so many years at the top, Oskido is too leftfield and edgy to win or even be nominated for a SAMA in his own right but you can't avoid him on the dance floor in South Africa and his fingerprints are all over most of what Kalawa Jazmee has achieved over the last fifteen years. Standout tracks on his new CD include the outrageously sexist hit "Gubuluzing" and "Nationalisation" which features a speech by the straight talking leader of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema: a hero to the majority of Oskido's audience who is reviled by the right wing establishment, which controls most of South Africa's vast wealth.
Even more essential listening, and to these ears,the very best track from this year's SAMA, is Kwela Tebza's "Tshole" from their CD "Gauteng Made in South Africa/Mzansi," winner of the Best Urban Pop Award. Kwela, which dates back to the mid 1950's, is a penny whistle dance genre which is the forerunner of much in township jazz and South African popular music. Kwela Tebza have revived the penny whistle sound and incorporated contemporary dance floor beats and production values. The resulting dish is a supremely potent, addictive, infectious mix of the old and the new. South Africa simply adores Kwela Tebza. I too find I need several doses a day. If you only listen to one African track this year, make sure it's Kwela Tebza's "Tshole." Just be warned: the risk of getting hooked is high….
Finally, the late jazz electric bassist/composer Sipho Gumede won a SAMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Anyone wondering why he's so widely regarded as the African continent's greatest ever electric bass player is advised to check out his compilation "Gone But Not Forgotten," available on CD and DVD.
1 October 2011
There aren't many artist's around the world who could get away with titling a CD "The Queen" but Mbilia Bel can. She sings, dances and looks like a goddess and has done since the early 1980's. From the Northern border of South Africa to the Sahara Desert she is almost universally regarded as Africa's best female musician. Mbilia Bel's velvet voice seduces men and women of all age groups, not erotically or romantically, nor with any pyrotechnics but rather with an expert knowledge of exactly what it takes to make us dance.
Listening to the first half her new CD "The Queen" is like being whisked gently along
e in a murmuring limousine. It isn't just Bel's exquisite voice. The standard of
musicianship here is exceptional. Producer Ibrahim Sylla has used many of the same
musicians he used on the two albums he made with Madilu System both of which were
instant classic and huge sellers. Keyboard and drum programming maestro Manu Lima
provides his delicate, understated but undeniably hot rhythms; sublime lead guitarist
Dally Kimoko once again complement his sound and Madilu's favourite backing singers
Nybom and Ballou Canta add further class and beauty on vocals. Best of all Bel is
reunited with veteran horn players from her days with Tabu Ley Rochereau's Afrisa.
There are guest vocal appearances from Guinee's premiere male vocalist Bambino and
Sregio Polo, the jazziest of Cameroun's Makossa artists. The first half of the resultant
CD is pure joy. It is so beautifully crafted as to sound effortless. At first it
sounds pleasant but as the understated dance floor intentions work their into the
listener's soul with repeated listening you will be hooked and become one of her
majesty's numerous subjects. But be warned, Bel isn't perfect -
Ferre Gola, widely regarded as the best of DR Congo's younger male vocalists tries
to do much the same as Bel on his CD/DVD set "50 ans de la Musique Congolaise." Gola's
weakness is that he isn't yet one of the great Congolese composers -
Apartheid meant that South Africa never fell under the Congo's hypnotic sway. Even
Mbilia Bel is relatively unknown. But of course South Africa has wealth of talent
of its own especially when it comes to female jazz singers. Two of the best have
new release. Siphokazi's third studio album "Ethembeni" is a return to form and contains
many beautiful moments. Hers is an underrated talent that is unlikely to fade from
view. Possibly her rival Thandiswa suffers from the opposite problem. She was such
a big star at the start of her career with the Kwaito/kwai jazz group Bongo Maffin
and so successful with her first solo album ("Zabalaza") that it's difficult to know
what she can do now. Her second live DVD "" Dance of the Forgotten Free" also available
on CD, and Blu-
Someone who is certainly peaking right now is Bra Hugh Masekela who seems to be on
a roll. His latest CD/DVD set "Live At Carnival City" is by far his best live film.
He uses a stripped down band consisting of four superb and mostly young musicians.
There are no backing singers, no horn section, no percussionists. The lack of backing
singers is no problem whatsoever -
Seun Anikupulako Kuti and Egypt 80's "From Africa with Fury -
Seun does a good job fronting the band but it's notable that the best composition
on the CD "African Soldier" like the excellent "Na Oil" on their last release is
by another baritone saxophonist Rilwan "Showboiy" Fagbeni who doesn't play on this
recording. For more on thus great band's current line-
1 May 2011
Fela's son Seun trumps all
Nigerians and music lovers revere Seun Kuti's father Fela. He and fellow musicians, notably drummer Tony Allen and baritone saxophonist Lekan Animashaun created the afrobeat genre and Fela's political courage and message have made him a modern icon.
Fela believed passionately in the African extended family. His wives and daughters performed as his singers and dancers and his son Femi became featured alto saxophonist before striking out on his own. Seun, his youngest son started singing with the band at the age of 9.
More than 20 years on Seun still sings with Fela'ss fabulous big band Egypt 80; and the band is still led by Lekan Animashaun, now in the sixth decade of an illustrious career. If their London show is anything to go by, Egypt 80 remain absolutely unmissable.
How does such an old band sound so fresh? One reason puts all others in the shade.
Every other afrobeat act tries to sound like Fela's first afrobeat band Africa 70
and its superlative drummer Tony Allen. But not Egypt 80. When Allen departed and
Africa 70 disbanded, Fela and Lekan Animashaun decided to do something different.
Instead of trying to find another Tony Allen -
The brass section is world class. The great Lekan Animashaun has retired from baritone sax and leads the band from the piano but his chosen successor, Abidimi Adebiyi Adekunle, is the star of the current Egypt 80 line up. Every solo is greeted with thunderous applause. It's worth going to see Egypt 80 for his performances alone but the other horn players aren't far behind. Tenor sax stalwart Oyinade Adeniran dates back to Fela's day and glues the horn section together much as Lekan Animashaun used to. But the key solo instrument right back back to Fela and Animashaun's highlife days is trumpet. Current incumbent of the first trumpet chair, Muyiwa Kunuji, fulfils his role perfectly: he's one of the best in West Africa.
It'd be easy to dismiss Seun Kuti's role in all this as shallow and opportunistic
but he's been singing with this band since childhood -
1 May 2011
African jazz is what happened when Africa started hearing African American jazz.
The global swing craze of the 1930's and 40's led to the inception of new hybrid
African music styles, especially in the biggest Cities -
The website www.africanjazz.info is delighted to be celebrating its fifth birthday with this article at Intuition.
THE BEST RECENT RELEASES:
Afrobeat is a fusion of big band Jazz, funk and highlife that was created by the Nigerian political activist Fela Kuti. His best band Africa 70 featured Tony Allen, widely regarded as Africa's greatest e kit drummer. Jazz musicians Roy Ayers, Lester Bowie and Ginger Baker together with Paul McCartney stated incorporating Afrobeat in their music in the early 1970's. By now Afrobeat is global in the sense that it's played world over by musicians of numerous nationality.
Fela and Africa 70 had a purple patch in the mid 1970's and their music of that period is unquestionably some of the best in African jazz. "Anthology 2" combines an excellent 2 CD compilation of Fela's best work from this period with a previously unreleased DVD of a performance at the Berlin Jazz Festival. Little of Fela on film survived the army raids on Kalakuta Republic, the compound where Fela lived out his politics in trademark Speedos with his band and innumerable wives amid thick clouds of cannabis smoke. This DVD is virtually the only footage we have of Fela with Africa 70. It's easy to see why it wasn't released. This was a "Let it Be" like effort made as the band was in the process of breaking up; Fela looks a bit out of sorts and both he and his band are slightly below par. But which would you rather have? The Beatles on a bad day or no Beatles at all? Fela, Allen and Africa 70 really are that good and he was happy enough with these performances to put them out on vinyl and didn't see any need for studio versions. The songs, "Authority Stealing" and especially "VIP" bristle with wit, political anger and sophisticated sensual rhythm all considerably enhanced by seeing Fela, The Black President, goad his German audience and dance like a demon. Possibly some band members thought Fela guilty of exactly the same hubris and hypocrisy which he scorned in Nigeria's political leadership but that detracts nothing from this great music.
Fela's spiritual heir Lágbájá is possibly past his recent purple patch too but his
last twin CD release is worth seeking out. The title tracks on both "Sharp-
SOUTH AFRICAN JAZZ
The closest South African has come to producing jazz artists to match Fela's stature are the biggest stars who went into exile during Apartheid like Hugh Masekela, the late Miriam Makeba and Abdullah Ibrahim. Certainly Bra Hugh tops the bill wherever he goes and his new CD "Jabulani" shows us why. It's a recreation of township wedding music from the 1940's but if this makes it sound dry and worthy Bra Hugh will put you right. In his sleeve note he explains:
"In the townships, being unable to dance is a sign of dementia and total social bankruptcy."
"Jabulani" is a full on party album and his best recording in years. Production by Don Laka, creator of the hybrid hip-
For many South Africans however it's not the musicians who went into exile who are
heroes it's the ones who stayed behind and played for them during the struggle. The
short lived Jazz Epistles in which Masekela, Ibrahim and the equally wonderful Jonas
Gwangwa made their names and recorded South Africa's first jazz LP in 1960 epitomise
this. To the outside world it's the three exiles who became stars. But all three
say the greatest member of the band was the saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi. Kippie didn't
go into exile. He toughed it out at home and died in relative obscurity in 1983.
But to this day he is revered above all jazz musicians in his home land and South
Africa's premiere jazz club, Kippie's, is named after him.
The recent two disc compilation "Next Stop Soweto Vol 3" features two Kippie Moeketsi tracks. "Switch" performed with Chris McGregor is one of his most prized recordings and "Orlando" with Dennis Mpale is a gem -
Philip Tabane who features on the same compilation led his band Malombo since the early 1960's. His DVD "Live at the Market Theatre Johannesburg" (also on CD) shows that he is one of the great 1960's guitar heroes.
Post apartheid jazz has been music of extremes: unparalleled hope and creativity marred by senseless violence and tragedy. The death of Moses Taiwa Molelekwa ten years ago at the age of 27 is a prime example. Moses reigned supreme as the greatest African musician of his generation and his demise left a gaping scar in African jazz. As pianist, composer, producer, band leader and innovator Moses was in a league of his own. Happily his music lives on as demonstrated in the recent release of his CD "Live in Joburg Nineteen Ninety Nine." Stand out tracks include "Genes and Spirits" and "Itumeleng."
STYLE JAZZ CONGOLAIS
When it comes to African Jazz one band towers above the others. The Congolese big band OK Jazz was Sub Saharan Africa' s dominant musical force from the late 1950's until 1989 when its leader and virtuoso guitarist Franco passed away. After Franco, Vice President, Le Poète Lutimba Simaro who's been in the band since the early 1960's took up the reins. The band, later renamed Bana OK (= children of OK Jazz) continues to this day and is without a shadow of doubt the greatest jazz band in Africa. Anyone doubting the veracity of this needs to put on their dancing shoes and check out the reissue of their best DVD. "C'est La Fête" as it's now called was originally recorded in 2003 and features a great performance by the entire band especially veteran vocalist Josky Kiambukata and the scintillating young lead guitarist Olivier Tshimanga who like so many great musicians over many decades is a product of Simaro's uniquely laid back, hands off style of leadership. Simaro, the coolest man in African jazz, makes his customary brief appearance in a big hat, platys some crisp, elegant rhythm guitar and quietly slips off stage after a few minutes. Under his leadership Bana OK are so good, he simply doesn't need to be there!
Franco's long term rival Tabu Ley Rochereau started his career in the seminal band
African Jazz alongside Manu Dibango, Le Grand Kalle and Dr Nico. The two CD compilation
"Voice of Lightness Vol 2" is worth purchasing just to hear Africa's most influential
musician ever -
1 April 2011
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