Golden Age of Congolese Music

Various Artists -  African Pearls: Congo - Pont Sur Le Congo
Various Artists – African Pearls: Congo – Pont Sur Le Congo
Various Artists

African Pearls: Congo – Pont Sur Le Congo (Syllart, 2010)

The double CD set Congo – Pont Sur Le Congo is part of the African Pearls series and focuses on the rich tradition of the music of the Congo which encompasses two nations: the current Democratic Republic of Congo (which used to be known as Zaire) and the Republic of Congo.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Congolese musicians absorbed musical influences from various parts of the world. Genres included American jazz, rhythm and blues, European and Cuban music. The Afro-Latin sounds of Cuba were so influential that some Congolese musician even sang in Spanish. New genres were created such as Congolese rumba or soukous and the Congolese guitar style influenced numerous musicians in the African continent.

Musicians based in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) and Brazzaville were very popular and thousands of fans throughout the Congo and elsewhere in Africa danced to their songs. Seminal bands such as African Jazz Orchestra produced off-shoots, including Docteur Nico, Grand Kallé and Tabu Ley. Other legendary acts are featured in this excellent collection: Franco’s OK Jazz Orchestra and Verckys.

The album includes a 20-page booklet with full-color photos and liner notes in English and French by Florent Mazzoleni.

Congo – Pont Sur Le Congo is a superb introduction to the highly influential Congolese music of the 1960s and 1970s.

Track listing:

CD1

  •   Orchestre Kiam – Kamiki
  •   Dewayon – Niama Ya Zamba
  •   Grands Maquisards – Jaria
  •   Franco and L’Ok Jazz – Koue Koue! Ebony Aboyi Ngaï
  •   Dewayon – Tangana
  •   Verckys – Mawana Mburu 002
  •   Orchestre Lipua Lipua – Losa
  •   Trio Madjesi – Photo Ya Madjesi
  •   Cepakos – Kouka Badian’teseke
  •   Soki Vangu – Menga

CD2

  •   Empire Bakuba – Kanu
  •   Bavon Marie Marie – Ya Limbisa Bijou
  •   Orchestre Bella Bella – Sola
  •   Franklin Boukaka – Natoko
  •   OK Jazz – Regina
  •   Tabu Ley – Dialogue
  •   Negro Band – Mokili Ekoni Ngana
  •   Verckys – Ya Nini
  •   Docteur Nico and African Fiesta Sukisa – Canchita
  •   Soki Vangu – Pambi Doni
  •   Sinza Kotoko – Maloukoula
  •   Zaiko Langa Langa – Vie Ya Mosolo

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2 thoughts on “Golden Age of Congolese Music”

  1. I grew up in Nigeria in the 1970s listening to Congo music. I am yet to find any musician in the world that will match the incredible mark they left in my memory. I wish Congo is peaceful and stable politically. I am using this medium to appeal to all my brothers and sisters to find a local solution to their differences. No foreigner will bargain in your best interest. They will bring you guns to kill yourselves while digging and removing all the diamonds and gold in the land. Think about this for a moment. You will agree with me. Good luck and god bless.

  2. I totally agree with Lord Adams.
    Anyday anytime, Congo musics live in my system!
    The killings there must stop for the sake of uniqueness of the region to Africa. One day DRC will lead in the region.

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