December 14, 2008

Fauvette

Listening to the music I just couldn't believe this was another of the many anonymous bands from Congo. The cassette sleeve offers very little information, other than that the cassette was made in Kericho, Kenya.

A further search revealed more information about Orchestre Fauvette. Apparently the orchestre is from the east of Congo and was founded in the 1960s. Prominent member of the orchestra was Ndala Kasheba, a singer/guitarist, who later moved on to lead the Safari Sound Orchestra. There is a promotional video (here) in which he talks briefly about his life and in which he is seen playing with singer King Kiki (both are in the photo on the right, 'borrowed' from this informative article by Banning Eyre). The latter also was a member of Fauvette.
Ndala Kasheba died of a heart attack in November 2004 (see this article).

When fighting broke out in Katanga in 1967 while Fauvette was touring the eastern provinces of Congo, they decided to continue their tour outside of Congo. First they went to Bujumbura (Burundi) and from there to Kigoma (Tanzania). In 1969 they moved to Dar Es Salaam, where they were welcomed by Western Jazz, a very popular band at the time. Fauvette soon set up a base there and recorded a few tracks at the studio of Radio Tanzania Dar Es Salaam. One of these is the track "Mama Nakupenda" ("Mama I love you"), which is on this cassette.

In 1970 King Kiki, who -like Ndala Kasheba- grew up in Likasi, joined the orchestra. Two years later the band left Dar Es Salaam and changed its name into Safari Nkoy. After a short period in Bujumbura they returned to (then) Zaïre, where in 1974 Kiki left the orchestra.

So I think it is safe to assume that these remarkable recordings, released on the rare Stranger of the 70s label, were made in Tanzania.

C STR 01

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm just blown away -- I never thought I'd get to hear this. This is another piece of the historical puzzle of those Congolese bands that helped to define the East African sound, of which so many pieces seem to have gone missing. I have some Safari N'Koy tracks and there is one, Sina Ndugu (later reprised by Orchestra Maquis), which is one of those immortal great songs. Dank, dank, dank hiervoor!

Tim said...

This is a fantastic recording, so many thanks for posting it. As far as I am aware, Stranger of the 70s was one of the many labels produced by AP Chandarana of Kericho.

Mathew Lavoie's VOA blog, http://www.voanews.com/english/africa/blog/ has recently run a piece on Chandarana's involvement with Kenyan benga artists the Kawere Boys Band that is well worth checking out.

Orch Fauvette did, as your first commentator pointed out, mutate/evolve into Orch Safaris-Nkoi, who released at least one single on Stranger of the 70s, Angel Mon Amour, that is credited as being by Safaris-Nkoi ex-Fouvete (sic).

zim said...

there's a fair amount of information about related bands in the academic article:

MIGRATION AND THE CULTURAL COMMODITY OF CONGOLESE MUSIC IN DAR ES SALAAM, 1975-1985

Alex Perullo,Bryan University

which can be downloaded at this link:
http://migration.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/34_perullo.pdf

safari nkoy also recorded a number of singles on editions twaya (i've seen labels indicating zaire, but also zambia) and one that was reissued on the african imprint:

ORCH. SAFARIS NKOY: SANTU KIBANGU 1 & 2, (African, 1976)
ORCH. SAFARIS-NKOY: TWIKALE & SINA NDUGU (TWAYA TY30)
ORCH. SAFARIS-NKOY: NASALA 1& 2 (TWAYA TY38, 1977)
ORCH. SAFARIS-NKOY: KIAMUTEMA-NKUNI 1&2 (TWAYA TY39, 1977)
ORCH. SAFARIS-NKOY: CHANGA CHA (TWAYA TY55, 1978)
ORCH. SAFARIS-NKOY: LUKA YAYO SITUATION (DISCOZA DZ 76802)

Anonymous said...

This is very much appreciated; a magnificent rip.

joe

Tim said...

A recent article on the Wanamuziki Wa Tanzania blog

http://wanamuzikiwatanzania.blogspot.com/

features a photograph of the back sleeve of one Stranger of the 1970s single that shows this cassette is a compilation of many of the Orch fauvette releases on that label.