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.
- 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
- 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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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.