December 07, 2008

Baba Gaston

I hesitate to post this lp because I have lost the photocopy of the record sleeve. On the other hand, the music is so compelling that I can't withhold it from you. The artist is the legendary Baba Gaston.

He was born in 1936 in the Katanga province in the southeast, and he died in 1997 in Tanzania.
But he made the greatest impact, not on the Congolese music, but on the music of East Africa. He settled in Tanzania in 1970 and moved to Nairobi, Kenya a few years later, where remained a leading player in the music scene until his retirement in 1989*.
His band was a training school for over 700 musicians, and split-offs have led to bands like Les Mangelepa, Super Mazembe and Viva Makele, while ex-members have ended up in bands like Les Wanyika and even the TP OK Jazz (singer Nana). You can read more about this remarkable artist on the site of Muzikifan.

Baba Gaston sang mostly in Swahili, but three of the four songs on this lp from 1983 are in Lingala. According to Peter Toll on Muzikifan the album may have been recorded in Kinshasa with local musicians, and features singer Stazo Ya Esta from Festival du Zaire.
Anyway, it's a great album!

ASLP 971 (new - and now correct - link including cover and improved track - see below. June 30, 2011)

* I wonder if there was a relation between Franco's death and his retirement?

EDIT: thanks to Peter Toll, here is an improved and complete version of track B1 "Rudi Nyumbani Africa" (new link June 30, 2011), plus a scan of the cover (below).


Peter Toll said...

My favorite track is the Swahili song, Rudi Nyumbani (Come back home). Anyway, I recognize this as one of the many LPs I copied for the Hai Rooseboom archives. Yes, the tracks were recorded at Studio Minzoto as indicated on the album sleeve. If you want, I can send you a scan of the artwork.

WrldServ said...

I was hoping for a reaction from you. A scan of the artwork would be very welcome!
The famed Hai Roseboom archives are -by the way- not the source of this lp.

Peter said...

In that case, I might have a better copy but I have to check the LP first. I will send you an email.

Anonymous said...

Great to have the artwork of this fine LP. I have a couple of Kenyan tapes minus their labels but attributed to Baba Gaston. Can anyone help identify the tracks please:
Paul Johnston

bolingo69 said...

Hi Stefan, I was going through some older posts and came upon this. I think I got your first post but not the
"improved and complete version of track B1
"Rudi Nyumbani Africa", plus a scan of the cover."
as supplied by Peter Toll!

Do you think you can posts that track and the larger scans again since it seems that all those humyo links are dead! If and whenever you can find the time! Thanks in advance!

WrldServ said...

@bolingo69: The link to Peter Toll's addition has been replaced.

bolingo69 said...

Merci Mingi, Baba Stephan!

Rhythm Connection said...

Hi Stefan, I tried to download this fabled LP, but the links seems mixed up. Your first link goes to the song "Rudi" and the link for the improved track and art leads to an album by Neba Solo.


WrldServ said...

@Rhythm Connection: The links have been replaced by the correct ones.

I have no idea what went wrong....

Rhythm Connection said...

Thank you very much. Best, R.