Francis Bebey -Black Tears (1965)

this rare 10″ by guitarist Francis Bebey was found in a box of records that I got from a good friend. Thanks for such a wonderful gift!

Unfortunately this record had once been a bit too close to a heat source, causing damage to the edge of the cover and the disc itself. The edge of the record has a warp so that side A can no longer be played, but fortunately side B plays quite nicely.
Because these recordings are so beautiful and unique, I want to share them with you.

see also Yuletide Griots Riot

Francis Bebey, who was born on the 15th of July 1929  in Douala Cameroon, is both a composer and guitarist.

His compositions as presented to the public during various European recitals, are neither African folk music nor jazz, nor Western classical music. His music remains deeply attached tot he values of the African negro tradition, as he knew and lived it during his childhood.

About ‘Black Tears’

Francis Bebey in a Q/A with Lepold Sedar Senghor -from a 1965 interview with Francis Bebey on the liner notes of the original cover.

A: ‘Black Tears ‘has three main themes: the first one represents tears of sadness and despair; the third, which is gayer, denotes tears of joy.

Q: You mean laughing till one cries?

A: Exactly

Q: and the little tune which recurs from time to time, and on which the piece ends?

A: That is the theme of Life –always serene and indifferent to sorrow, pettiness or racial prejudice –Life, which has always been beautiful, ever since Creation

Q: in the  tears of joy passage we hear a real African tom-tom  sequence. Who accompanied you in this movement?

A: No-one

Q: You mean you superimposed it later?

A: Not at all. It was played at the same time, on the guitar. Of course, I was very happy when the idea came to me, and when I was first able to realize it. But I think we have talked enough –how about some music?

From the liner notes of Francis Bebey –Pieces pour guitare seule –Compositions for solo guitar

(Ocora Records OCR 27 –France – 1965)

Manu Dibango -OST ‘How To Make Love To A Negro Without Getting Tired’ 1989

This movie has it all: Interracial Sex, Female Nudity, A Very Long Title, Suicide Attempt, Profanity In Title and above all a script that is racistic, xenophobic, politically incorrect… but the soundtrack is a superb blend of Afro-Beat and atmospheric collages.

The Canadian production ‘How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired’ (Comment faire l’amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer)  is based on the book by Dany Laferrière written in 1985. Today the film is as fresh and relevant as when it first premiered in 1989. With raunchy humor and a working-class intellectualism, Laferrière’s narrator wanders the slums of Montreal, has sex with white women, and writes a book to save his life. Racial and sexual politics collide in this cult classic that launched Laferrière as one of North America’s finest literary provocateurs like Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, James Baldwin and Charles Bukowski.

Manu Dibango wrote a number of spherical snapshots and a few strong songs that are good to listen to without the accompanying images.

Manu Dibango -Lokobobe

Moreover, it is not his first soundtrack. In 1977 Manu composed music for the following films; ‘L’Herbe Sauvage’ (Ivory Coast), ‘Ceddo’ (Senegal), ‘Le Prix De La Liberté’ (Cameroun) and in 1987 he contributed his music to ‘Les Keufs’,  a French film by Josiane Balasko.

Manu Dibango -Bolingo City

Manu Dibango, born Emmanuel Dibango N’Djoké on 12 December 1933 in Douala, Cameroon) is a Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music. His sound is a vision of the future; Afro-electro-funk-style. Manu defines himself as an African European. See also my previous post on Manu Dibango here

For  recent releases, concert dates and more info check Manu Dibango’s offical website.