April 02, 2009

More Kebendo!

A few months ago I posted the first of the two lp's on the Tempo label by the wonderful Orchestre de Danse de Gueckédou, better known as Kébendo Jazz. They are among my favourite orchestras in Guinea, and that's saying a lot considering the fierce competition (I refer you to that amazing Boum à Conakry lp I posted a few weeks ago).

I have always wondered why this orchestra was never nationalised. They were the first orchestra ever to win the 'Orchestre' competition of the Festival National des Arts et de la Culture. This was in 1963, a year before the Orchestre Bembeya Jazz from Beyla won the competition and immediately became Bembeya Jazz National.

What did they do wrong? Were they 'sidetracked' because of a lack of 'patriotism' (i.e. loyalty to the P.D.G.)? It can't have been their musical qualities, because at the time of these recordings at least they were musically far superior to Bembeya Jazz, and I have found no evidence that the quality of their music went downhill from then (on the contrary, as you will be able to judge for yourself in a later post).

This lp is brilliant, although maybe not as brilliant as the first. Personally I am great fan of the dreamy vocals of Mamady Traoré, and he has only song on this lp, "N'na gnalen". This track is of outstanding beauty, and at least as good as his two songs on Tempo LP-7013. I also love the first track "Plan triennal", the version of "Soumbayaya" (made even more famous by Jardin and by les Balladins), and the music-to-lie-down-and-gaze-at-the-sky instrumental "Yagou sagou".
What tips the scales in favour of Tempo LP-7013 however is the fact that that lp has two more tracks.....

Tempo LP-7014

6 comments:

reservatory said...

Another hopelessly rare gem on my hard drive! Thanks for the Guinea!

reservatory said...

Me again. While we're on Kébendo, does anyone happen to have Syliphone SLP 19 - Disque Souvenir du Premier Festival National de la Culture Conakry 1970, which includes tracks from Kébendo as well as Horoya Band and Nimba Jazz? It's pretty much the last Syliphone LP I'm still looking for...

WrldServ said...

I have a copy of this (unfortunately of mediocre quality).
I am looking for a good copy of Kébendo's SYL 537 (Kema bourema / Touwonde). The one I have is extremely scratchy.

reservatory said...

I only have four Syliphone singles at this point - the last two Balladins 45s, Keletigui's Beni Yarabi SYL 544 and Horoya Band's Apollo SYL 535. When you say "of mediocre quality" you're talking about a bad tape copy or CD burn rather than the music itself, right? Is it possible to get a copy somehow? At any rate THANKS SO MUCH for the MANY things I've downloaded from World Service over this past year. Like the Ali Farka electric cassettes, and hours of other stuff I might've never heard otherwise. THANKS again.

WrldServ said...

Please send me an email (address in profile).

Lemmy said...

You have made my day, if not my week, Stefan - again. This orchestra is so great and mysterious. As if each member is floating on a wave of his own and everything fits magically together. I wonder why they never reached the status of a national orchestra. Thank you for this and as usual for all the other sublime posts that I have not commented on, but that I am surely enjoying!