The first steps of Kiamwangana Mateta a.k.a. Verckys as a musician were in a brass band playing the clarinet. It was Isaac Musekiwa, considered by many to be the 'godfather' of the sax in Congolese music, and then with the OK Jazz, who taught him to play the saxophone.
Verckys himself became a member of the OK Jazz in 1964, after having played in bands like Jamel Jazz and Dewayon's Congo-Rock and in the band of Gérard Kazembe. Much more a showman than the rather introvert Musekiwa he made quite a name for himself in Franco's band.
His career with the OK Jazz came to an abrupt end in February 1969 when he was kicked out by Franco after recording and producing four tracks with members of the OK Jazz without Franco's permission.
He decided to start his own orchestra: "orchestre Vévé". With Sinatra Bonga Tsekabu dit Saak Saakul as a singer, Verckys manages to get a contract at the Vis-A-Vis bar where they start in June 1969.
Among the first hits of the band is a track called "Mfumbwa", in which -according to our Congolese friends at mbokamusica- an authentic Congolese (vegetable) dish is praised (recipe!).
The two-part track, plus many more, can be heard on this explosive lp, released on the African label. Although there is no mention of this, I am convinced that at least two of the later Trio Madjesi are singing on this album (the other being Loko Massengo 'Djeskin').
African 360.016 (new link October 26, 2010)
Some of these tracks have been re-released on Sonodisc CD36599, which for some reason seems to have disappeared completely....
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