Le Grand Kallé & l’Orchestre Jazz -Souvenirs from the Congo

Made in Belgium always stand for quality; chocolates, tapestry, Belgian cuisine…just to name a few of the most famous Belgian exports. I would like to add music as another element of high quality to this list!

Souvenirs from the Congo is a beautiful double album by Le Grand Kallé and certainly a product of quality. Made with love.

I had the change to interview BART, the founder of Planet Ilunga who is responsible for releasing this excellent compilation. Pressed as a gatefold deluxe limited edition of 500 copies only. So don’t sleep….

Please note that there are 2 pages to this post, see the pagination at the bottom of this page…

See also Congo – a history by David van Reybrouck

See also Le Ry-Co Jazz – afro jazz in tumbélé style 1960’s



Le Grand Kallé –Parafifi

Le Grand Kallé – Mokonzi Ya Mboka

Please tell us more about yourself; your age, your interest in music, your label Planet Ilunga?

I’m a 28 year old who likes to collect different kinds of music on vinyl. One year ago I lost my job due to the economic crisis. This was a huge setback, but it gave me the opportunity and the time to fulfill the project that kept me dreaming the whole time: creating a music label and kick it off with an anthology on Joseph Kabasele (Le Grand Kallé).

I discovered him five years ago through a cd-compilation called Rumba on the River, compiled by Florent Mazzoleni. I was already collecting records for several years, but mainly electronic music from Chicago, Detroit and Belgium, some old jazz and blues and the occasional exotic compilation on labels like Soundway. After buying this cd I immediately became enchanted by this rumba-music from the likes of Franco, Joseph Kabasele, Docteur Nico, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Bantous de la Capitale, ergo the very best in the 50s and 60s in the two Congos.

From then on, my passion for Congolese and African music began to take form and I started to search frenetically for those rumba-sounds on legendary Congolese labels like Ngoma, Vita or Kabasele’s own label Surboum African Jazz. I soon became very frustrated because most of these records are not easy to find. What was a little bit easier was finding the releases on Sonodisc’s African label. Frustration took over again though when I saw how very disorderly their catalog was compiled adding very little or no documentation to any of the music. I found this a disgrace for music history. That’s why I decided to compile my own Joseph Kabasele-compilation. It was released on June 30, Congolese independence day.


What are your plans with Planet Ilunga?

The main intention with this first anthology is to give some background on Kallé and l’African Jazz – since Sonodisc failed to do so on their releases – and release it in a valuable package with a good remastering and nice label artwork. I’m aware there are already a lot of reissue labels for African music among whom some great ones, but a lot of them are reissuing African music, because it has a certain appeal to western dj’s or because it sounds funky or because it’s afrobeat. That’s not what this label stands for. I would like to reissue the artists who were at the forefront when modern music started in different African countries. If all goes well, I will release a series of Congolese artists first on Planet Ilunga and then move to artists from Guinea, Tanzania, Cameroon, etc. There’s still a lot to discover and so much important music is not available on vinyl or cd.



Tell us more about the compilation; quality wise; pressing, mastering, where is it for sale etc?

For this compilation I could choose from the Grand Kallé’s tracks which were released on different albums, singles and compilations on Sonodisc’s labels. I selected 26 tracks and divided them in four stories: ‘The Belle Epoque’ (mostly tracks from the fifties); ‘Vive The Independence’ (politics-related songs like Table Ronde and Africa Mokili Mobimba), ‘Pièce de Résistance’ (for the most part post-colonial songs from the early sixties when the band got more mature) and finally ‘The Cuban Connection’ (where the influence that the Cuban Son, Cha-Cha and other Latin-American styles had on Kabasele and his peers can be heard even more than in the other ‘stories’). I remastered all the tracks and pressed them on two 180 gram vinyls and packaged them into a gatefold format. Each copy (500 in total) is numbered and accompanied by a 24-pages booklet. I included a short biography, lyrics in Lingala, pictures and a list of the musicians. In short, it gives some background on Congo’s most beautiful export product.

There is no cd or digital version, maybe I will do this for a next compilation. I don’t have a distributor yet, but people can buy this first compilation from different record stores across Europe, like Rush Hour in Holland or Oye Record Store or HHV in Germany. In Belgium you can dig for it in all the good record stores. You can also buy directly from the label by sending me an email.

Why compile music from Congo –now République Démocratique du Congo (DR Congo)?

Do you know the stamp that Polydor pressed on their African music 45 sleeves? It says ‘The music that makes you happy’. For me this is the most spot-on baseline I ever encountered and it reflects why I plundered my bank account to finance this release. These Congolese recordings are giving me lots of ‘joie de vivre’ and I just want to share this on my favorite medium -vinyl.

Furthermore, there is the political and social side in this music which I find interesting. In the two Congos music and politics have often gone hand in hand. Even the most fanatic propaganda song can be music-wise utterly brilliant. For example listen to this Franco song where he ‘s praising Mobotu and his MPR.

Despite of the sheer beauty it brings, I think the fifties and sixties music from both of the Congos is mostly neglected by the small or bigger reissue labels lately. This is very strange, considering the major influence the Congolese rumba has had on other regions in Central, Eastern and even West Africa. The labels Crammed Disc and Sterns Music are the exceptions though. One month ago Sterns put out their Grand Kalle anthology with different tracks than on the Planet Ilunga 2LP. They only released it as a 2CD. I couldn’t recommend this enough, there are some wonderful tracks on it.


Are you working as a musician, collector or cultural anthropologist?

No, I currently work as a journalist in other fields, but in the long run my ambition is to help preserving the African music archives as a full time job. There are many examples of Western institutions or even individuals who are doing a great job in preserving historic music archives, and not only in Africa. I find this wonderful, certainly if they share their knowledge. Regarding African music archives I must say Graeme Counsel did an amazing job in archiving Guinea’s music heritage. Even more interesting is the Tanzania heritage project. I hope it takes off well, so it can serve as an example for other African countries. It’s time some ministries of Culture in African countries begin to care about preserving their own music patrimony. Why are there few  projects in Africa that even try to preserve part of their (music) culture? It’s sad, this indifference. If only they knew how much export value this could have…


your guide to Cape Town Slang -on ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 2’

a few kwela tunes on  ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 2’ start with some jive talking in an unknown language. At first I thought it sounded quite like Afrikaans,  with a pinch of  Zulu or Xhosa in da mix maybe? After all, South Africa claims 11 official languages and in a city like Cape Town that’s home to an eclectic mix of cultures it is easy to hear this sort of street jive.  In the 1950’s,  the neighbourhood District Six near Cape Town was the birthplace of an extremely lively and eclectic brew of a patois spoken mainly amongst the Cape Coloreds and certain groups of blacks, hottentots, Cape Malay and the Khoi San.

The Apartheid regime brought an extremely uncertain time for black and colored people so a slang as a sort of protection shield was born. At the time black music  did not get much national radio coverage at all, although some black radio stations broadcasted for local communities. The music was  either played live in the streets -the birthplace of kwela- or experienced in theatres and public halls. Left wings white South Africans, politically open minded people also found their way to these local get-togethers to hear some of the finest black and colored musicians on the scene.

The spoken intro’s of some of the kwela songs are characteristic conversations between the musicians, often in a humoristic slang, always extremely funny. Here are 3 examples culled from ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 2’ and translated into English as accurate as possible.

Track nr. 7 ‘Ek Se Cherry ‘by Lemmy Special and The Mofolo Kids;  a conversation between a man and a woman who argue about the man’s infidelity to his wife. The woman tells the man that people in the township are talking about his behaviour,that he is seeing a ‘cherry’ ( a loose woman). The man denies but the woman teases him and tells the man firmly –Ek sê Cherry – ‘I say that you are seeing a loose woman’.

Ek sê, Eksê (Eh-k-s-eh): Afrikaans for, ‘I say’. Used either at the beginning or end of a statement. “Ek sê my bru, let’s braai tomorrow.” “This party is duidelik, ek sê!”

Track nr. 5 ‘Skanda Mayeza’ by The Benoni Flute Quintet translates as such; “Yes folks, the man heard from you so nice as Two Kop Pak. All must raise the roof. Where is it going with you and old Two Kop Pak. Carly from the Kasbahs. There were the day never was a grass. The life was nice like the cabin in the sky. Go Totsi.”

Track nr 8 ‘Broadway’ by Alexander Sweet Flutes translates as such; ” Hey men, have you heard of the Bell -telephone call-? How Edward, how Space and how Azaren can really really mean what the Tow Can dobbo”.

Thanks to Susie Mullins and Kevin for the research and the translation.

TownshipJiveKwelaJazzVol2 front

See also Your Guide to Cape Town Slang

Awê, get the low-down on the Mother City’s colourful colloquialisms and sayings, ek sê…

Ag (ah-ch): An expression of irritation or resignation. “Ag no man!” “Ag, these things happen”

Awê (ah-weh): A greeting. “Awê, brother!”

Babbelas (bah-bah-luss): Derived from the isiZulu word, ‘i-babalazi’, meaning drunk; adopted into the Afrikaans language as a term for ‘hangover’. “I have a serious babbelas!”

Bakkie (bah-kee): 1. A bowl. “Put those leftovers in a bakkie.” 2. A pick-up truck.  “We all jumped on the back of my dad’s bakkie and went to the beach.”

Befok (buh-fawk): 1. Really good, amazing, cool. “The Symphonic Rocks concert is going to be befok!” 2. Crazy, mad, insane. “You tried to put your cat in the braai? Are you befok?”

Bergie (bear-ghee): Derived from berg, Afrikaans for ‘mountain’. Originally used to refer to vagrants living in the forests of Table Mountain, the word is now a mainstream term used to describe vagrants in Cape Town.

Bra (brah), bru (brew): Derived from broer, Afrikaans for ‘brother’; a term of affection for male friends; equivalent to dude. “Howzit my bru!” “Jislaaik bra, it’s been ages since I last saw you!”

Braai (br-eye): Barbeque (noun and verb). “Let’s throw a tjop on the braai.” “We’re going to braai at a friend’s house.”

Duidelik (day-duh-lik): Cool, awesome, amazing. “That bra’s car looks duidelik!”

Eish (ay-sh): isiZulu interjection; an exclamation meaning ‘oh my’, ‘wow’, ‘oh dear’, ‘good heavens’. A: “Did you hear? My brother got into a fight with a bergie!” B: “Eish! Is he hurt!”

Eina (Ay-nah): An exclamation used when pain is experienced, ‘ouch!’. “Eina! Don’t pinch me.”

Entjie (eh-n-chee): A cigarette. “Come smoke an entjie with me.”

Guardjie, gaatjie (gah-chee): The guard who calls for passengers and takes in the money on a minibus taxi.

hhayi-bo (isiZulu), hayibo (isiXhosa) (haai-boh): An interjection meaning ‘hey’; ‘no way’.“Hayibo wena, you can’t park there!”

Howzit (how-zit): A greeting meaning ‘hi’; shortened form of ‘how’s it going?’

Is it?: Used as acknowledgement of a statement, but not to ask a question – as one might assume. Most closely related to the English word ‘really’. A: “This guy mugged me and said I must take off my takkies!” B: “Is it?”

Ja (yaah): Afrikaans for ‘yes’. A: “Do you want to go to a dance club tonight?” B: “Ja, why not?”

Ja-nee (yah-near): Afrikaans for yes-no. Meaning ‘Sure!’ or ‘That’s a fact!’ Usually used in agreement with a statement. A: “These petrol price hikes are going to be the death of me.” B: “Ja-nee, I think I need to invest in a bicycle.”

Jol (jaw-l): (noun and verb) 1. A party or dance club. “We’re going to the jol.” “That party was an absolute jol!” 2. Used to describe the act of cheating. “I heard he was jolling with another girl.”

Jislaaik (yiss-like): An expression of astonishment. “Jislaaik, did you see that car go?”

Kak (kuh-k): 1. Afrikaans for ‘shit’.  Rubbish, nonsense, inferior, crap or useless. “What a kak phone.” “Your driving is kak.”  2. Extremely, very. “That girl is kak hot!”

Kwaai (kw-eye): Derived from the Afrikaans word for ‘angry’, ‘vicious’, ‘bad-tempered’.  Cool, awesome, great. “Those shoes are kwaai.”

Lekker (leh-kah): 1. Nice, delicious. “Local is lekker!” 2. Extremely, very. “South Africans are lekker sexy!”

Mielie (mee-lee): Afrikaans term for corn, corn-on-the-cob.

Nee (nee-ah): Afrikaans for ‘no’.

Naartjie (naah-chee): Afrikaans term for citrus unshiu, a seedless, easy peeling species of citrus also known as a ‘satsuma mandarin’.

Potjie, potjiekos (poi-kee-kaws): Afrikaans term for pot food/stew comprised of meat, chicken, vegetables or seafood slow-cooked over low coals in a three-legged cast iron pot.

Shame: A term of endearment and sympathy (not condescending). “Ag shame, sorry to hear about your cat.” “Oh shame! Look how cute your baby is!”

Shisa Nyama (shee-seen-yah-mah): isiZulu origin – while shisa means ‘burn’ or to be hot and nyama means ‘meat’, used together the term means ‘braai’ or ‘barbeque’. “Come on, let’s go to Mzoli’s for a lekker shisa nyama!”

Sisi (see-see): Derived from both isiXhosa and isiZulu words for sister, usisi and osisi (plural). “Hayibo sisi, you must stop smoking so many entjies!”

Sosatie (soo-saah-tees): Kebabs, skewered meat. “Let’s throw a few sosaties on the braai.”

Takkies (tack-kees): Trainers, sneakers, running shoes. “I want to start running, again but I need a new pair of takkies.”

Tjommie, chommie (choh-mee): Afrikaans slang for ‘friend’. “Hey tjommie, when are we going to the beach again?”

Vrot (frawt): Rotten; most often used to describe food that’s gone off or a state of being sick. “Those tomatoes are vrot.” “Champagne makes me feel vrot!”

Voetsek (foot-sek): Afrikaans for ‘get lost’, much like the British expression, ‘bog off’. “Hey voetsek man!”

Wena (weh-nah): isiXhosa and isiZulu for ‘you’. “Hey wena, where’s the R20 you owe me?”

Wys (vay-ss): Show, tell, describe. “Don’t wys me, I know where I’m going.”

So, whether you’re asking for directions, engaging with the locals or just eavesdropping in a taxi, let’s hope this guide will give you some insight into what’s being said. And keep in mind, if anyone says “Joe Mah Sah…” just know, it’s not a compliment.

by Meagan Hamman

spokes mashiyane -king kwela gecomp

Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 2 -Available Now!

It’s official folks! Soul Safari is proud to announce the release of our second compilation in collaboration with the  International Library of African Music (ILAM), Grahamstown, South Africa. 18 rare gems of Township Jive & Kwela Jazz from South Africa recorded between 1930-1962.

Official date of release; November 18th 2013 

Available now in LP, CD  formats and iTunes downloads!

18 tunes of raw kwela and pennywhistle jive, great rhythm & blues, accordion jive and vocal jazz; true messages of joy and hope recorded between 1930-1962 in South Africa.

iTunes downloads 

TownshipJiveKwelaJazzVol2 front


side A

1          Flying Jazz Twist -Twisting Sisters (1960) 2’.20”

2          Johnny -Twisting Sisters (1960) 2’.25”

3          Sesir Inyembezi -The Batchelors featuring ThokoTomo (1962) 2’.19”

4          Tshidi -Martindale All Stars (1960) 1’.57”

5          Skanda Mayeza -Benoni Flute Quintet (1930) 2’.26”

6          Quintet Special -Benoni Flute Quintet (1930) 2’.59”

7          Ek Se Cherry -Lemmy Special and the Mofolo Kids (1960) 2’.28”

8          Broadway -Alexander Sweet Flutes (1960) 2’.55”

9          Jacko Mambo -Aron & Pieter (1956) 2’.41”

side B

1          Ziyavuma Mambo -Aron & Pieter (1956) 2’.34”

2          Baya Ndi Nemeza -The Skylarks with Miriam Makeba (1962) 2’.31”

3          Paulina -The V Dolls (1940) 2’.14”

4          Egoli -Mighty Queens (1940) 2’.17”

5          Sala Sithandwa -Mighty Queens (1940) 2’.10”

6          Teku Special -Richard Nombali (1960) 2’.22”

7          Nozipho -Ndlovu Brothers (1960) 2’.16”

8          Ubundibetelantoni -Sample Siroqo (1960) 2’.34”

9          7-2-7 -Kid Ma Wrong Wrong (1940)   2’.15”



This compilation ℗ + © Ubuntu Publishing 2013. All rights reserved.

latest record finds -October 2013 USA

my last safari through the concrete jungle of cities like New York City and Philadelphia generated a lot of great finds, not just African music but a few  interesting otherwordly records as well. What about The Afro-Latin Soultet ‘Wild!’, a truely rare jazz-soul gem rarely seen in the wild.

Best catch of this safari must be the American release of Spokes Mashiyane’s  LP ‘King Kwela’, recorded during his  first US live tour,  The Boyoyo Boys ‘Back In Town’, Josef Marais, and Dorothy Masuka ‘Pata Pata’ as runner up… maybe not the holy grails I was looking for in the first place but still a decent selection of music from the African diaspora that I like to share with you. More info and mp3 files in coming posts….and my experience of diggin’ in Philadelphia will be revealed shortly.

the afro-latin soultet -wild! gecomp

abdullah ibrahim- water from an ancient well gecomp

see also SA Jazz -Abdullah Ibrahim speaks! Staffrider interview with poet Hein Willemse NYC Dec 1986

boyoyo boys -back in town gecomp

see also David Thekwane & The Boyoyo Boys -Township Jive 1977

dorothy masuka -pata pata gecomp

see also South African Soul Divas pt 2 Dorothy Masuka, Mahotella Queens, Irene & The Sweet Melodians

hi-life intl -gecomp josef marais -songs of the african veld gecomp

see also the Bleached Zulu

majuba ost -gecomp

rare South African OST ‘Majuba’. I will review this LP shortly

next stop soweto vol 3 gecomp

ah…all the essential and most collectable Cape Jazz holy grails on a double album, released by Strut Records in 2010.

phezulu eqhudeni -gecomp rochereau tabu ley & l'african fiesta vol 2 gecomp spokes mashiyane -king kwela gecomp tabu ley babeti soukous gecomp

Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 2

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The second Soul Safari compilation features 18 rare gems of Township Jive & Kwela Jazz from South Africa.

Released as a 180 grams premium vinyl LP and iTunes downloads.

Date of release: 18th November 2013

TownshipJiveKwelaJazzVol2 front

18 tunes of raw kwela and pennywhistle jive, some great rhythm & blues, accordion jive and vocal jazz; true messages of joy and hope that were recorded between 1930 -1962.


side A

1          Flying Jazz Twist -Twisting Sisters (1960) 2’.20”

2          Johnny -Twisting Sisters (1960) 2’.25”

3          Sesir Inyembezi -The Batchelors featuring ThokoTomo (1962) 2’.19”

4          Tshidi -Martindale All Stars (1960) 1’.57”

5          Skanda Mayeza -Benoni Flute Quintet (1930) 2’.26”

6          Quintet Special -Benoni Flute Quintet (1930) 2’.59”

7          Ek Se Cherry -Lemmy Special and the Mofolo Kids (1960) 2’.28”

8          Broadway -Alexander Sweet Flutes (1960) 2’.55”

9          Jacko Mambo -Aron & Pieter (1956) 2’.41”

side B

1          Ziyavuma Mambo -Aron & Pieter (1956) 2’.34”

2          Baya Ndi Nemeza -The Skylarks with Miriam Makeba (1962) 2’.31”

3          Paulina -The V Dolls (1940) 2’.14”

4          Egoli -Mighty Queens (1940) 2’.17”

5          Sala Sithandwa -Mighty Queens (1940) 2’.10”

6          Teku Special -Richard Nombali (1960) 2’.22”

7          Nozipho -Ndlovu Brothers (1960) 2’.16”

8          Ubundibetelantoni -Sample Siroqo (1960) 2’.34”

9          7-2-7 -Kid Ma Wrong Wrong (1940)   2’.15”



Most “African” recordings from 1930 -1962 in South Africa were issued only on breakable 78 shellac discs and poorly locally distributed in an era when Apartheid ruled. Few hundred copies a title perhaps found a home, if one was lucky to possess a record player.

The surviving discs landed mostly in collections and sometimes in air-conditioned archives, never to be played again. Until now, that is. A new chapter is here; volume 2 of Township Jive & Kwela Jazz, compiled by Eddy De Clercq for this blog.

Twisting Sisters -Flying Jazz Twist label

Feel the energy of pennywhistle jive by The Benoni Flute Quintet, a group that had a big hit with their recording of ‘Skanda Mayeza’ in 1930. The tune was originally recorded as a vocal and The Benoni Flute Quintet picked up the tune on their penny whistles; their playing of it established the tune as one of the all time favourite with the Africans. On this compilation the original humorous spoken intro is kept intact, later versions were released without this spoken intro.alexander sweet flutes -broadwayHear the battle of wild basslines in ‘Ek Se Cherry’ by Lemmy Special with vocal group The Mofolo Kids (1960). ‘SesirInyembezi’ is a superb Zulu cover version of the American original doo-wop hit ‘Book Of Love’ (The Monotones) by The Batchelors featuring ThokoTomo (1962)

Or listen to the delicious vocal harmonies of ‘Flying Jazz Twist’ by Twisting Sisters, a vocal group who were popular enough in the 1960’s for Gallo Records to release two hot sides on one platter. In 1956 Aron & Pieter did the mambo, African style while the festive upbeat vocal swing of ‘Tshidi’ by Martindale Stars (1960) remains timeless.

All recordings were prepared and mastered from the original 78 rpm shellac discs as found in the archives at ILAM in Grahamstown, South Africa. The goal was to clear the dust and dirt of decades gone by, while preserving the original dynamics and keep the sound as little altered as possible.

Richard Nombali -Teku Special label

This compilation ℗ + © Ubuntu Publishing 2013. All rights reserved.

Spring! The Chris Schilder Quintet featuring Mankunku

ah…spring has finally settled here in Holland and I feel that there is no better way to celebrate the start of the festive season then with this seriously rare LP ‘Spring’ by The Chris Schilder Quintet featuring Mankuku.

Contradictory to the information published on flatinternational please notice that the record presented here today is not on the Atlantic City label but a later pressing on Up Up Up released in 1974. Pics of the band on the back cover were taken during the Port Elizabeth Jazz Festival 1968. Unfortunately the front of the cover is missing from my copy so if anyone has a spare empty cover of this release then make yourself known in case you would like to swap or sell. You will be rewarded!

chris schilder quintet -cover back gecomp

Chris Schilder Quintet featuring Mankunku -Spring (Springtime In The Cape)

Chris Schilder- piano

Winston ‘Mankunku’ Ngozi- tenor sax

Garry Kriel- guitar

Phillip Schilder- bass

Gilbert Matthews- drums

Recorded November 22nd 1968 at the Herrick Merrill Studios Johannesburg.

Issued 1974 by Up Up Up Records/Teal UPL 5007.  Made in South Africa

Produced by Ray Nkwe

chris schilder quintet -spring label A gecomp_2

A.1 Spring (Chris Schilder)

A.2 Before the Rain and After (Chris Schilder)

A.3 Look Up (Chris Schilder)

chris schilder quintet -spring label B gecomp_2

B.1 The Birds (Chris Schilder)

B.2 You Don’t Know What Love Is (Raye, De Paul)

This exceptionally rare LP was finally reissued on CD by Gallo Record Company in 1996, 2007. The CD features Mankunku’s first two albums and is titled Yakhal’ Inkomo after his first record—South Africa’s best selling jazz record of all time. Spring is Mankunku’s second and it’s scarcity can be attributed to a fire at the EMI factory which destroyed the original master tapes.

source flatinternational

chris schilder + Phillip gilbert matthews pic mankunku pic

Dollar Brand -African Piano -live 1969 Copenhagen Denmark

another favourite of my recent Tokyo finds! ‘Xahuri Dullah Brahim’ -recorded live on October 22, 1969 in Jazz-hus Montmartre, Copenhagen Denmark. Japanese release Trio PA 7057 Stereo with obi and booklet.

See also previous post SA Jazz -Abdullah Ibrahim speaks! Staffrider interview with poet Hein Willemse NYC Dec 1986

Dollar Brand -African Piano

Side A

1. Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro



4. Xaba

Side B

1. Sunset in Blue

2. Kippy

3. Jabulani-Easter Joy

4. Tintiyana

Japo Records 60002 / Trio PA 7057 Stereo Japan


Superfunk 1976 -Lawrence Koonin & David Bravo

Ultra smooth and rare jazz-funk recordings from an unknown South African studio-group. Produced by Lawrence Koonin & David Bravo and released by Logo Records in 1976 in South Africa. Not much more than that info can be found for the moment so enjoy the music!

12-03-2012 -Chris from Electric Jive added the following update;

Lawrence Koonin could not even remember the recording sessions of this particular album in Cape Town. Which led me to conclude these tracks were out-takes from other albums done with the same band members around the same time – some of these tracks have the same feel as stuff from Morris Goldberg’s Urban Jazz Band (1975), and the Morris Goldberg Quartet (1975).

The other band members are likely to be as per the Morris Goldberg Quartet

 Cecil Ricca on Drums

Marc Duby on bass

Morris Goldberg on Sax

Bravo on Keyboards

 The fifth member on Morris Goldberg Urban Jazz Band was Monty Weber on percussion

 Superfunk -s/t

Side 1

1. So Long Jug

2. South Side Shuffle

3. Lavender Hill

Side 2

1. Superfunk

2. Oh My!

3. Let It Out

Superfunk -s/t Logo Records 1976 South Africa

Congo Jazz -Blue Flamingo -1950s Congolese Rumba

The CD “Congo Jazz”  consists of three different parts centered around American hot jazz, Congolese rumba, and gospel. The title is rather misleading, as if the whole collection of music on this CD contains Congolese jazz but this style is only one part of this compilation. The release comes with an extensive booklet describing the music but without a track-list of the artists and titles. This is a major flaw as it is frustrating to listen to music without the possibility of checking the artist or title. A true collector would definitely have added this information. It took me quite some deep diggin’ to find the track-list of the featured mix and I want to add it to this post.

Anyway, I can recommend this CD, it is  an excellent compilation despite the missing track-list. The 78 shellac discs have been mastered and mixed together in sets. The atmosphere and the build-up  is addictive, the chosen music reflects good taste and style. Certainly a valuable addition to a collection of rare African -and early Afro-American- music.

Ziya Ertekin alias Blue Flamingo -Photo: Jan van der Ven

Ziya Ertekin alias Blue Flamingo, born out of Dutch and Turkish parents,  is responsible for this remarkable compilation of rare and sometimes one-off discs. As a collector he hunts for the forgotten sounds and styles from all over the world. He is also a musician and DJ who plays 78 rpm shellac discs at parties and events.

The compilation presents 3 mixes ‘Jungle Crawl’ (1920’s-1930’s Hot Jazz Jungle Exotica), ‘Congo Jazz’ (1950’s Congolese Rumba), ‘That Old Time Religion’ (1930’s-1950’s Jubilee, Gospel & Hard Gospel). The ‘Congo Jazz’ mix is composed from original 78-rpm shellac discs from the former Belgian Congo, where, under the influence of the Cuban son and rumba, one of Africa’s first modern popular music arose.

CONGO JAZZ (1950s Congolese Rumba)

9. LA FIESTA CUBANA – Tino Baroza
10. BOLINGO E GAGNE – Orchestre African Jazz
11. BANA T’ATOMIC JAZZ – Kaba Joseph & le Groupe Rythmique Ngoma
12. CANTA DEL NEGRO – Tchade. Mariola & Oliveira
13. ELIE VIOLETTE – Orchestre African Jazz
14. EL RICO CUBAN MAMBO – Orchestre Rock a Mambo

Blue Flamingo – Congo Jazz EXCEL96202

The Congolese developed a wholly unique style of guitar playing that showed great similarities to the way people played the native thumb piano. Dazzling single-note solos were melodiously plucked up and down the thumb piano. This style was perfected when the Belgian guitarist Bill Alexandre, who had performed in Europe with musicians like Django Reinhardt, tried his luck in Leopoldville, and briefly introduced the electric guitar to the region. Congolese music has produced many guitar virtuosos, including Papa Noel, Franco Luambo, Tino Baroza and the man referred to by his admirers as ‘le dieu de la guitare’; Nicolas Kasanda Wa Mikalay, better known as Docteur Nico. On the Congo Jazz -mix, a still very young Nico can be admired on the tracks ‘Boligo e Gagne‘, ‘El Rico Cuban Mambo’ and ‘Elie Violette‘.

Docteur Nico

“The foundation for modern Congolese music was laid in the 1930s, when the first 78 r.p.m. records, containing music from Latin America, reached the capitals of both Congos. These records were hugely popular with the young urban population, who were completely captivated by this music. Records had reached Central Africa before, but nowhere, not even in early jazz, was their ancestors’ legacy as clearly present as it was in the rhythms of Central and South America. It felt as if a part of Africa was returning home again. It was a homecoming that rooted deeply and fused rapidly with other Congolese traditions into something entirely authentic” 

Ngoma remains the most important Congolese record label, as well as one of the most important labels in all of Africa. It was started by two Greek brothers, Nico and Alexandros Jéronimidis, around 1948. Not only did they record well over a thousand discs, the first to capture all manner of Congolese musical styles (the rumba, cha-cha, and solo acoustic guitar picking of course), but they encouraged experimentation by their musicians. Ngoma records were pressed in France and distributed primarily in Central Africa – Congo and Cameroon especially – and as such are, well, impossible to find. Not only that, but all the Ngoma masters were long ago lost in a warehouse fire. As if that wasn’t enough, the company then donated all of its file copies to the Congolese government, only to have those destroyed during political strife.

Georges Edouard and Manuel D’Oliveira, released sometime in the late 40s-early 50s.

Edouard & Oliveira – Ngai Abuyi

source excavatedshellac

excerpts and pics from the original liner notes  of Blue Flamingo – Congo Jazz EXCEL96202

see also Origins of Guitar Music
Southern Congo and Northern Zambia, 1950-’58, recordings by Hugh Tracey

Richard Nombali, Sample Siroqo -Mouth Organ Township Jive 78 rpm

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In this gallery here today  a series of records found in the archives of  ILAM, the music department of  Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Both the original shellac pressings on 78 rpm were discovered here. Richard Nombali and Sample Siroqo; Mouth Organ Jive!

See also Township Jive & Kwela Jazz (1940-1960)  for full details  & MP3

Richard Nombali -Kwela Rich

Sample Siroqo -Baya Vuma