Sunday, June 26, 2022

THAILAND Chui Chai – Thiap Konglaithong (Pi nai woodwind) & Usa Sukantamalai (vocalist) – Department of Fine Arts Bangkok – 0008, 1958 (7 in 45 RPM)

THAILAND – THAÏLANDE
Chui Chai – Thiap Konglaithong (Pi nai oboe) & Usa Sukantamalai (vocalist) – Department of Fine Arts Bangkok – 0008, 1958 (7 in 45 RPM)

MusicRepublic – Thailand – Chui Chai – Thiap Konglaithong (Pi nai woodwind) & Usa Sukantamalai (vocalist) – Department of Fine Arts Bangkok – 0008, 1958 (7 in 45 RPM)
#Thailand #Thaïlande #Thai #Chui Chai # Thiap Konglaithong # Pi nai # Usa Sukantamalai #vocal #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic #vinyl #45 RPM #Department of Fine Arts
#Thailand #Thaïlande #Thai #Chui Chai # Thiap Konglaithong # Pi nai # Usa Sukantamalai #vocal #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic #vinyl #45 RPM #Department of Fine Arts

Our friend João recently returned from Thailand with a number of fascinating vintage Thai music recordings, including this album of music for Chui Chai, which in Thai literally means to walk in an elegant or orderly fashion, and is the name of a traditional form of Siamese dance and drama. This quirky record brimming with vitality features intense solos by Tiab Konglaithong (b.1902), a great master of the Pi Nai six-hole quadruple-reed oboe that requires the use of circular breathing to ensure a regular, uninterrupted lyrical flow, and the eminent classical female vocalist Usa Sukantamalai’s angular vocal modulations (b.1923), accompanied by ranat ek xylophones and percussion.

Notre ami João a récemment revenu de Bangkok avec des disques vintage fascinants de musique thaïlandaise, dont cet album de Chui Chai – signifiant littéralement marcher de manière élégante ou ordonnée en thaï, ou de la danse et du théâtre siamois traditionnels. Cette musique sinueuse débordant de vitalité comprend des solos intenses de Tiab Konglaithong (né en 1902) – un grand maître du hautbois à quatre anches à six trous Pi Nai nécessitant l'utilisation de techniques de respiration circulaire afin d’obtenir un flux lyrique régulier et ininterrompu – et les modulations exaltées de l'éminente chanteuse classique Usa Sukantamalai (née en 1923), accompagnée de xylophones ranat ek et de percussions.


Tiab Konglaithong

#Thailand #Thaïlande #Thai #Chui Chai # Thiap Konglaithong # Pi nai # Usa Sukantamalai #vocal #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic #vinyl #45 RPM #Department of Fine Arts

Usa Sukantamalai
 #Thailand #Thaïlande #Thai #Chui Chai # Thiap Konglaithong # Pi nai # Usa Sukantamalai #vocal #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic #vinyl #45 RPM #Department of Fine Arts


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Many thanks to Ween in Bangkok for providing background on Chui Chai!


Photograph above is a Siamese sculpture of the Buddha, c. 14th-15th century from https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections:


Photograph below is a vintage postcard of Bhuddist Monk Somdej Toh (1788-1872) mentoring King Chulalongkorn Rama V (1853-1910):


MusicRepublic – Thailand – Chui Chai – Thiap Konglaithong (Pi nai woodwind) & Usa Sukantamalai (vocalist) – Department of Fine Arts Bangkok – 0008, 1958 (7 in 45 RPM)

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Thursday, June 9, 2022

INDIA – INDE Vilayat Khan – India’s Master of the Sitar – Raga Darbari Kanada – Capitol Records ST 10514

INDIA – INDE
Vilayat Khan – India’s Master of the Sitar – Raga Darbari Kanada – Capitol Records ST 10514, 1969 (LP)

#India #Inde #Vilayat Khan #Hindustani #raga #Indian music #Imdadkhani Gharana #musique indienne #sitar #tabla #traditional music #Imrat Khan #Enayat Khan #vinyl #MusicRepublic
#India #Inde #Vilayat Khan #Hindustani #raga #Indian music #Imdadkhani Gharana #musique indienne #sitar #tabla #traditional music #Imrat Khan #Enayat Khan #vinyl #MusicRepublic
#India #Inde #Vilayat Khan #Hindustani #raga #Indian music #Imdadkhani Gharana #musique indienne #sitar #tabla #traditional music #Imrat Khan #Enayat Khan #vinyl #MusicRepublic
#India #Inde #Vilayat Khan #Hindustani #raga #Indian music #Imdadkhani Gharana #musique indienne #sitar #tabla #traditional music #Imrat Khan #Enayat Khan #vinyl #MusicRepublic

Vilayat Khan (1928-2004), born into a prestigious musical family in Goripur, in present day Bangladesh, was one of the towering figures in North Indian music in the second half of the 20th century.

 

His father Prof. Enayat Khan (1894-1938) was one of the most brilliant and innovative sitar and surbahar player of his era. Although Khan Sr. died at an early age, his distinguished relatives – notably his brother Wahid Khan, his maternal grandfather Bande Hussain Khan and maternal uncle Zinda Hussain Khan – ensured that his sons Vilayat and Imrat (1935-2018) received the best possible training to brilliantly carry on the Imdadkhani Gharana-style family heritage. Vilayat Khan adopted and perfected a distinctive singing-sitar playing style (gayaki ang) influenced by great Hindustani vocalists, such as Ustad Faiyaz Khan. Khan's heated rivalry with fellow sitar maestro Ravi Shankar was legendary.


This formidable LP, featuring Shankar Gosh (1935-2016) on tabla, captures Khan’s flamboyant, imaginative and romantic virtuosity.


Vilayat Khan (1928-2004), né dans une famille musicale prestigieuse à Goripur dans l’actuel Bangladesh, fut l'une des figures majeures de la musique d'Inde du Nord de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle 

 

Son père Prof. Enayat Khan (1894-1938) fut l’un des joueurs de sitar et de surbahar les plus brillants et les plus novateurs de la première moitié du XXe siècle.  Bien qu'Enayat Khan soit décédé à peine agé de 43 ans, ses proches parents éminents – notamment son frère Wahid Khan, son grand-père maternel Bande Hussain Khan et son oncle maternel Zinda Hussain Khan – s'assurèrent que ses jeunes fils Vilayat (1928-2004) et Imrat (1935-2018) reçoivent la meilleure formation possible afin qu’ils perpétuent avec brio la tradition familiale du Imdadkhani Gharana. Vilayat Khan adopta et perfectionna un style de jeu de sitar très vocal (gayaki ang) influencé par le phrasé des grands chanteurs Hindustani comme Ustad Faiyaz Khan. Sa grand rivalité avec Ravi Shankar est légendaire.

Ce formidable album, avec Shankar Gosh (1935-2016) aux tablas, illustre parfaitement la virtuosité flamboyante, imaginative et romantique du maestro.


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Many thanks to Nuno for his help with the visuals.


Our other sitar music posts:


Vilayat Khan  HMV EALP 1259, 1961 here
Enayat Khan  Megaphone EJNG, 45 RPM, 1930s here

Imrat Khan  HMV EASD 1345, 1969 here

Nikhil Banerjee – HMV EASD 1342, 1969 here

Nikhil Banerjee – HMV EASD 1377, 1972 here

Nikhil Banerjee – HMV EASD 1378, 1973 here

Mohammad Sharif Khan Poonch Wala – Bärenreiter/Musicaphon BM 30 L 2029 here
Budhaditya Mukherjee – Melodiya C80-18043-4, 1979 here
The Great Tradition – Masters of Music – His Master's Voice – EALP 1453/1452, including Vilayat Khan and a Ravi Shankar–Ali Akbar Khan duet here


The photograph below is from the catalogue to the exhibition Rasa: Les Neufs Visages de l’Art Indien at the Grand Palais, March 13-June 161986, Paris.


Lion, red sandstone, third century, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh:


Only the head is sculpted here, with a highly stylized mane, acutely angled eyebrows, opened mouth and tongue, powerful square legs, and the base supporting the lion, which indicates it may have initially been part of a very large throne. In Sanskrit the word to designate throne is Simhasana – meaning the seat of the lion. Simhasana is also the “lion pose,” a seated yoga posture that includes a specific form of Pranayama  breathwork, called lion's breath. In Buddhism, the lion symbolizes strength and is the protector of the Buddha, and in Hinduism, Goddess Durga is often depicted riding a lion serving as Maa Durga’s vehicle and embodying Her power. The lion has a presence that commands great respect and is the very essence of royal majesty.
*Partially condensed and paraphrased from the catalogue's caption.



MusicRepublic INDIA – INDE Vilayat Khan – India’s Master of the Sitar – Raga Darbari Kanada – Capitol Records ST 10514


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Sunday, June 5, 2022

TURKEY – TURQUIE Flûtes Orientales Sacrées des Derviches Tourneurs – Disques Vogue – CLVLX 542

TURKEY  TURQUIE

Flûtes Orientales Sacrées des Derviches Tourneurs – Disques Vogue – CLVLX 542 (LP)

#Turkey #Turquie #Konya #Dervish music #Ney flute #Mevlevi Order  #whirling dervishes #derviches tourneurs # Hayri Tümer #Turkish #turque #trance #dhikr #etase #ecstasy #Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī #esoteric #transe #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic # #Sufi #soufi #ritual #Ayin #ceremony #rituel #vinyl # Jean-Claude Chabrier #call to prayer
#Turkey #Turquie #Konya #Dervish music #Ney flute #Mevlevi Order  #whirling dervishes #derviches tourneurs # Hayri Tümer #Turkish #turque #trance #dhikr #etase #ecstasy #Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī #esoteric #transe #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic # #Sufi #soufi #ritual #Ayin #ceremony #rituel #vinyl # Jean-Claude Chabrier #call to prayer
#Turkey #Turquie #Konya #Dervish music #Ney flute #Mevlevi Order  #whirling dervishes #derviches tourneurs # Hayri Tümer #Turkish #turque #trance #dhikr #etase #ecstasy #Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī #esoteric #transe #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic # #Sufi #soufi #ritual #Ayin #ceremony #rituel #vinyl # Jean-Claude Chabrier #call to prayer
#Turkey #Turquie #Konya #Dervish music #Ney flute #Mevlevi Order  #whirling dervishes #derviches tourneurs # Hayri Tümer #Turkish #turque #trance #dhikr #etase #ecstasy #Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī #esoteric #transe #traditional music #world music #MusicRepublic # #Sufi #soufi #ritual #Ayin #ceremony #rituel #vinyl # Jean-Claude Chabrier #call to prayer

The Mevlevi brotherhood, founded by the followers of the great Sufi mystic, poet and Islamic theologian Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207-1273), practice a form of Islamic mysticism expressed via esoteric rituals and ceremonies with sacred music and dance movements performed by whirling dervishes to achieve a trance-like ecstasy in the remembrance of God (Dhikr). 

 

This graceful, ecstatic music, recorded by ethnomusicologist and orientalist Jean-Claude Chabrier (b. 1931), features enthralling devotional ney flute solos by Hayri Tümer (1902-1973) (A1, A3, B2, B3), a call to prayer (A2), a prayer-offering sung by Münir Nurettin Selçuk (1900-1981) (A4), and ensembles with flutes, percussion and voices (A5, B1).

 

La confrérie Mevlevi, fondée par les disciples du grand mystique soufi, poète et théologien islamique Jalāl al-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (1207-1273), pratique une forme de mysticisme islamique exprimée au travers de rituels et de cérémonies ésotériques comprenant de la musique sacrée et des mouvements de danse réalisés par des derviches tourneurs dans la recherche de l'extase mystique dans le souvenir de Dieu (Dhikr).

 

Cette musique gracieuse et extatique, enregistrée par l'ethnomusicologue et orientaliste Jean-Claude Chabrier (né en 1931), comprend des solos de flûte ney dévotionnels d'Hayri Tümer (1902-1973) (A1, A3, B2, B3), un appel à la prière (A2), une offrande-prière chantée par Münir Nurettin Selçuk (1900-1981) (A4), et des ensembles avec flûtes, percussions, et voix (A5, B1).

 

A1 – Tekbir (There is but one God) – composed by Mustapha Itrî Çelebi (1641-1711);

Ney flute solo by Hayri Tümer (1902-1973).

 

A2 – Ezzan (Call to Prayer);

 

A3 – Taksim (Solo-Meditation);

Ney flute solo by Hayri Tümer.

 

A4 – Na’t (Prayer - Offering) Mevlevi rite;

Solo vocal prayer by Münir Nurettin Selçuk.

 

A5 – Pesrev (Introduction) – composed by Yusuf Pasa (1821-1884);

Flutes and percussion.

 

B1 – Ayin Ceremony – composed by Mustapha Itrî Çelebi and Dede Efendi (1778-1846);

Flutes, kudüm percussion and choir.

 

B2 – Taksim (Solo-Conclusion);

Ney flute solo by Hayri Tümer.

 

B3 –– Salavat (Mystic Solo);

Ney flute solo by Hayri Tümer.


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Our other Turkish music posts:
HZ. Mevlâna (Ks) – Instrumental Dervish Music – Ney Tâksimleri, 1971 here
Nuit Précieuse au Sérail - ARION 30 U 97, 1970 here

Gazeller II – Ottoman-Turkish Vocal Improvisations in 78 RPM Records – Kalan Müsik here

Musique de Turquie - ALFA 5018, 1973 here
Rythmes et Mélodies de Turquie - Le Club Français du Disque 92, 1957 here
Orient-Okzident - Musik Aus Südost-Europa - Museum Collection Berlin, 1968-1980 here

Vintage poscard of whirling dervishes, Constantinoples (Istanbul):


MusicRepublic TURKEY – TURQUIE Flûtes Orientales Sacrées des Derviches Tourneurs – Disques Vogue – CLVLX 542

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

PAKISTAN Salamat and Nazakat Ali Khan – Rag Megh/ Rag Bairagi-Bhairav – Hannibal Records – HNBL 1332

PAKISTAN

Salamat and Nazakat Ali Khan – Rag Megh/ Rag Bairagi-Bhairav – Hannibal Records – HNBL 1332, recorded 1970, released 1988 (LP)

#Pakistan #Hindustani #vocals #Jugalbandi #Sham Chaurasi Gharana  #Nazakat Ali Khan #Salamat Ali Khan #Lahore #traditional music #world music #Sufi music # Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #Punjab #Vilayat Ali Khan #Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #vinyl #LP #MusicRepublic
#Pakistan #Hindustani #vocals #Jugalbandi #Sham Chaurasi Gharana  #Nazakat Ali Khan #Salamat Ali Khan #Lahore #traditional music #world music #Sufi music # Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #Punjab #Vilayat Ali Khan #Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #vinyl #LP #MusicRepublic
#Pakistan #Hindustani #vocals #Jugalbandi #Sham Chaurasi Gharana  #Nazakat Ali Khan #Salamat Ali Khan #Lahore #traditional music #world music #Sufi music # Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #Punjab #Vilayat Ali Khan #Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #vinyl #LP #MusicRepublic
#Pakistan #Hindustani #vocals #Jugalbandi #Sham Chaurasi Gharana  #Nazakat Ali Khan #Salamat Ali Khan #Lahore #traditional music #world music #Sufi music # Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #Punjab #Vilayat Ali Khan #Bade Ghulam Ali Khan #vinyl #LP #MusicRepublic

We now present a second album of the Sham Chaurasi Gharana vocalists, brothers Nazakat Ali Khan (1932-1983) and Salamat Ali Khan (1934-2001) from Punjab, whose family settled in Lahore, Pakistan, after the partition of British India in 1947. The two brothers were taught by their father Vilayat Ali Khan in both the Dhrupad and Khyal styles and were influenced by the great Khyal masters, Ashiq Ali Khan (?-1948), Rajab Ali Khan (1874-1959), and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1902-1968). The brothers began performing in a Jugalbandi duo in Pakistan and India in the mid-1940s and quickly distinguished themselves as two of the most outstanding Hindustani Khyal vocalists on the Subcontinent. 

 

According to the music critic Amit Chaudhuri, “Nazakat’s role has to do with laying the groundwork and then cultivating increasing self-effacement to make possible Salamat’s miraculous phrases. (…) Salamat is, in a fundamental sense, an improviser. (…) He couldn’t do this without the older brother.”*  

 

This 1970 album features the brothers’ exquisite telepathic lyricism and Salamat’s rapturous flights and adventurous creativity. They are accompanied here by Ghulam Mohammed (1910-1974) on the bowed sarangi and Shaukat Hussain Khan (1930-1996) on tabla.

 

Nous présentons maintenant une deuxième album des frêres chanteurs Pendjabi du Sham Chaurasi Gharana, Nazakat Ali Khan (1932-1983) et Salamat Ali Khan (1934-2001), dont la famille s'installe à Lahore, au Pakistan, après la partition de l'Inde britannique en 1947. Les deux frères étudient le chant Dhrupad et Khyal auprès de leur illustre père Vilayat Ali Khan et furent influencés par des grands maîtres du Khyal comme Ashiq Ali Khan (? -1948), Rajab Ali Khan (1874-1959) et Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1902-1968). Ils se produisent sur scène en duo Jugalbandi au Pakistan et en Inde dès le milieu des années 1940 et s'imposent vite comme des chanteurs incontournables du Khyal dans la seconde moitié du 20e siècle. 

 

Selon le critique musical Amit Chaudhuri, « le rôle de Nazakat consiste à jeter les bases, puis cultiver un effacement progressif de sa personne afin de permettre à Salamat d’exprimer son phrasé miraculeux. (…) Salamat est, au plus profonds de lui-même, un improvisateur. (…) Il ne peut le réaliser pleinement sans son frère aîné. »*

 

Cet album illustre le magnifique lyrisme télépathique des deux frères, ainsi que les envolées créatives et exaltées de Salamat. Ils sont accompagnés ici par Ghulam Mohammed (1910-1974) à la vièle à archet sarangi et Shaukat Hussain Khan (1930-1996) aux tablas.


*https://scroll.in/article/962117/recordings-by-vocalist-salamat-ali-khan-remind-us-how-precise-and-beautiful-the-unimaginable-can-be



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Many thanks to João for sharing this inspiring gem!


Our other Hindustani vocal Jugalbandi duo posts:

Nazakat & Salamat Ali Khan – HMV – 7 EPE 1356 here

Hirabai Barodekar and Saraswati Rane – Raag Chandra Kauns, Raag Basant Bahar – ECLP 2356 here

Dagar Brothers – Nassir Zahiruddin Dagar & Nassir Faiyazuddin Dagar – EALP 1334 here



The photograph below is from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Open Access initiative, which gives access to more than 400,000 images of public-domain artworks from The Met collection available for free and unrestricted use (www.metmuseum.org):

Rosette Bearing the Names and Titles of Shah Jahan", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, aka the Emporers Album, c. 1645:


"A 'shamsa' (literally, sun) traditionally opened imperial Mughal albums. Worked in bright colors and several tones of gold, the meticulously designed and painted arabesques are enriched by fantastic flowers, birds, and animals. The inscription in the center in the 'tughra' (handsign) style reads: "His Majesty Shihabuddin Muhammad Shahjahan, the King, Warrior of the Faith, may God perpetuate his kingdom and sovereignty."


MusicRepublic – PAKISTAN –Salamat and Nazakat Ali Khan – Hannibal Records – HNBL 1332

Please help me purchase important traditional records to pursue my global 

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

CONGO – GHANA – NIGERIA – SIERRA LEONE – SOUTH AFRICA – KENYA – TANZANIA – MOZAMBIQUE – UGANDA – ETHIOPIA African Dances – Authentic 601

CONGO – GHANA – NIGERIA – SIERRA LEONE – SOUTH AFRICA – KENYA – TANZANIA – MOZAMBIQUE – UGANDA – ETHIOPIA

African Dances – Authentic 601, compiled by John Storm Roberts, 1973 (LP)

#Congo #rumba lingala #Cuban #Cubaine #bantous de la Capitale #OK Jazz #musique congolaise #Highlife #Ghana # S.E. Rogie #John Storm Roberts #Juju #Original Music #Kenya #South Africa #Sax Jive #Tanzania #Docteur Nico #Le Grand Kalle #Congolese #Les Bantous de la Capitale #Kinshasa #Brazzaville #urban music #African Music #musique africaine #MusicRepublic #Vinyl
#Congo #rumba lingala #Cuban #Cubaine #bantous de la Capitale #OK Jazz #musique congolaise #Highlife #Ghana # S.E. Rogie #John Storm Roberts #Juju #Original Music #Kenya #South Africa #Sax Jive #Tanzania #Docteur Nico #Le Grand Kalle #Congolese #Les Bantous de la Capitale #Kinshasa #Brazzaville #urban music #African Music #musique africaine #MusicRepublic #Vinyl
#Congo #rumba lingala #Cuban #Cubaine #bantous de la Capitale #OK Jazz #musique congolaise #Highlife #Ghana # S.E. Rogie #John Storm Roberts #Juju #Original Music #Kenya #South Africa #Sax Jive #Tanzania #Docteur Nico #Le Grand Kalle #Congolese #Les Bantous de la Capitale #Kinshasa #Brazzaville #urban music #African Music #musique africaine #MusicRepublic #Vinyl
#Congo #rumba lingala #Cuban #Cubaine #bantous de la Capitale #OK Jazz #musique congolaise #Highlife #Ghana # S.E. Rogie #John Storm Roberts #Juju #Original Music #Kenya #South Africa #Sax Jive #Tanzania #Docteur Nico #Le Grand Kalle #Congolese #Les Bantous de la Capitale #Kinshasa #Brazzaville #urban music #African Music #musique africaine #MusicRepublic #Vinyl

In the early 1990s I sought out John Storm Roberts’ many excellent compilations on his Original Music label showcasing great 1950s to 1970s pan-African genres like Congolese music, Ghanaian Highlife, Nigerian Yoruba Juju and Ibo Highlife, South-African Sax Jive, East-African music from Kenya and Tanzania, and much more. Roberts also published accessible seminal books closely connected to his many musical explorations of the multidirectional cross pollination of European, North American, Caribbean and African musics, including Black Music of Two Worlds (1972) and The Latin Tinge (1979).

 

This 1973 LP presents a compelling panorama of precious stellar tracks from the Golden Age of African music:

Au début des années 1990, j'ai découvert les nombreuses compilations de grande qualité de John Storm Roberts sur son label Original Music qui présentait de grands styles panafricains des années 1950 à 1970 tels la musique congolaise, le Highlife ghanéen, le Juju Yorouba et le Ibo Highlife du Nigéria, le Sax Jive sud-africain, les musiques du Kenya et de la Tanzanie. Roberts publia également des écrits étroitement liés à ses nombreuses explorations des brassages multidirectionnels entre musiques européennes, nord-américaines, caribéennes et africaines, notamment Black Music of Two Worlds (1972) et The Latin Tinge (1979).

 

Cet album de 1973 présente un panorama fascinant de morceaux précieux de l'âge d'or de la musique africaine :


Congo (Kinshasa) & Congo (Brazzaville)

A1 – Kale-Roger and Rochereau (Tabu Ley) with Orchestre OK Jazz – Afrika Mokili Mobimba 

A2 – Les Bantous de la Capitale – Lisie 

 

These two Congolese Rumba Lingala gems, influenced by the Cuban idiom with sophisticated African electric guitars – whose circular patterns recall the indigenous African thumb piano – convey a different ambiance with a fluid and sensuous “African touch.” The LP kicks off with a rare – and the best  version of the glorious pan-African anthem Afrika Mokili Mobimba (A1), performed by Kale-Roger-Rochereau (Tabu Ley) and OK Jazz, and Lisie (A2) by Les Bantous de la Capitale, the most famous band from Brazzaville facing Kinshasa on the other side of the Congo River.


From the 1920s, 78 RPM shellac discs of Cuban music – a unique fusion of “West African” components (polyrhythm, call-response and trance-like intensity) and “European” components (Spanish language, romanticism, guitars, horns, flutes, violins and orchestration) – had a tremendous impact on the creative cultural breeding grounds in fast-growing urban centers like Leopolville (Kinshasa) and Brazzaville. Cuban Rumba and Charangas, along with other musics, like Dominican Merengue and Trinidadian Calypso, were all urban musics that conveyed a modern identity removed from traditional tribal affiliations.

Ghana

A3 – Ahamano's Guitar Band – Me Nsae Da 

A4 – The Broadway Dance Band – Broadway Special 

Two Ghanaian highlife tracks with a raw guitar band  (A3) and a Jazz-tinged orchestra (A4). This highly influential Pan-African style also took root in Nigeria.

Nigeria

A5 – Dele Ojo and His Star Brothers Band – Omo Oloja 

 

Yoruba Juju.

Sierra Leone

A6 – S.E. Rogie – Toomus Meremereh No Good 

 

Palm-wine guitar music.

 

South Africa

A7 – Miss Smodern – Untitled 

A8 – Leribe – Untitled

 

While most African urban styles were initially influenced by Caribbean music (Cuban, Merengue, Calypso, etc.), South African music was inspired by North American Gospel and 1930s Jazz, i.e., Count Basie (1904-1984) and Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996), in an era when Jazz was still dance music, prior to its evolution toward complex and cerebral instrument-solo-based forms. The Leribe Sax Jive track (A8) – presumably from the 1950s – is a brilliant clearly-defined fusion of Jazz and South African rhythms, and (A7) is a heartfelt fast-tempoed song with guitar, female vocals and chorus. 

 

Kenya

B1 – John Mwale – Kenyatta Aliteswa Sana 

B2 – Peter Tsotsi, Nachil Pichen and The Equator Sound Band – Pole Musa 

B3 – Dick Ngoye and Party – Robinson Olago 

B4 – Yaseen Mohamed and Party – Kula Ajae Na Shari 

Kenyan urban music was highly influenced by Congolese music, but here Roberts features typical Kenyan genres, including a praise song to President Jomo Kenyatta (1897-1978) (B1), a Western-Kenyan Sukuma rhythm (B2), a Kenyan acoustic guitar track in Luo language (B3), and a track (B4) highlighting the influence of Arabic culture in Islamized regions, as well as the use of a Univox synthesizer here in place of the traditional ud and qanun!

 

Tanzania

B5 – Salim Abdulla with the Cuban Marimba Band – Ndio Hali Ya Dunia 

 

Congolese-influenced dance music from Dar es Salam.

 

Mozambique

B6 – M. Makhuwele and Chorus – Ugandzibyeli 

 

Acoustic guitar and vocals.

 

Uganda

B7 – Frida Sonka – Gwenasobya 

 

Guitar, bass, shakers and female vocals in Luganda language.

 

Ethiopia

B8 – Alemayno Eshirtay Group – Love Is Love

 

Ethiopian soul.


***

 

In a 1987 interview in The Los Angeles Times*, world music scholar, curator and publisher John Storm Roberts (1936 –2009) quipped, “There’s an enormous amount of terrific, ‘real people’ popular music that’s damned hard to find. The commercial industry is only interested in what’s happening, and most ethnomusicologists disapprove of it as being Westernized… I don’t care how esoteric it is, but it’s got to be terrific.”

*https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-01-18-ca-5255-story.html


 

Download:

More stellar tracks from the Golden Age of African music:

Classic Ghana Highlife - Eastern Stars International Band - Cecilia

Classic Congolese - African Fiesta with Docteur Nico (1939-1985) on guitar - Angola Siempre

         Classic South African - Slow Foot King Brothers - Phantsi Ndaze Betha


The 1953 song A Todos Mis Amigos by the great Cuban singer Celia Cruz (1925-2003) & Sonora Matancera celebrates Latin American. Cruz was  popular in cities like Kinshasa and this track most likely inspired the pan-African Africa Mokili Mobimba on this LP (A1).  Until the early 1990s, I met a number of West-Africans passionate and knowledgeable about Cuban music. 


Our other African urban music posts:
King Sunny Adé - Check E - SALPS 26 here
Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe - People's Club Special POLP 070 here
Gbaari - Bariba music from Benin - Radio Parakou archives here
Bariba and Dendi music from Benin - Radio Parakou archives here

Please help me purchase important traditional records to pursue my global 

curation project and share the best finds with you on this blog: