November 30, 2009

In Memoriam Jean-Serge Essous

Another monument of African music has passed away. Jean-Serge Essous (born January 15, 1935) has died in Brazzaville on November 25, 2009. He was present at the foundation of the O.K. Jazz, of Rock-a-Mambo, and of 'his own' orchestre Bantous and Ryco Jazz. His music and his orchestras have had a huge influence on African music, and maybe even on the music outside of his continent.

During his stay in France earlier this year he was taken seriously ill and had to be hospitalised. Unfortunately he was not insured and was forced to return to Brazzaville, where he died in the Hôpital des Armées.

Essous started his musical career in 1951 as a flutist, but after a few years switched to the instrument which brought him fame: the clarinet. As a clarinetist he soon made a name for himself and joined a band called Negro Jazz. With this band he crossed the river to play in Leopoldville and was 'discovered' by Henri Bowane, who in 1955 invited him to record at the Loningisa label. Essous subsequently played on a series of tracks recorded in 1956, and was present when the O.K. Jazz was founded in June. Unconfirmed legend has it that he signed the first contract for the creation of the O.K. Jazz in place of the then under age Franco.
But persuaded again by Bowane, he soon decided to join singer Rossignol and other Loningisa artists in their move - on January 1, 1957 - to a completely new record label: Esengo.

At Esengo Essous played with the stars of the former Opika label (which had closed down in 1956), Kabasélé (le Grand Kallé), guitarists Nico, Dechaud and Tino Baroza, and female star Lucie Eyenga. Initially the names of these 'ensembles' varied depending on who were present at the recording sessions, but soon the 'nuclei' of these sessions took on a more permanent form. Essous was the leader of one of these: orchestre Rock-a-Mambo. With the huge composing talents of a sax player, who had come over from the Ngoma label, Nino Malapet, and with Rossignol as principal vocalist, Rock-a-Mambo churned out hit after hit, offering a stiff competition for the O.K. Jazz who were doing the same at Loningisa.

As examples of these glorious days, I would like to share nine tracks with you from the Esengo label.
The first two of these, "Jalousie" and "Amigo", are from the beginning of the label, and were composed by Nino Malapet. The songs feature not only the typical Rock-a-Mambo combination of Essous (clarinet) and Nino (sax), but also the great Tino Baroza on guitar, plus Kabasélé and Rossignol on vocals!
On the second record, with two compositions by Essous called "Bolingo Na Ngai Gigi" and "Bolingo Etumbu", the orchestre is named as "African Rock". Playing guitar is Nico, and singing are Kabasélé with Lucie Eyenga (on "..Gigi"), and Rossignol backed modestly by Kabasélé (on ".. Etumbu").
The third record is from a slightly later date (probably 1958). Again the compositions are by Essous, who on "Calu Wa Essous" plays flute, and on "Mi Paralitico" is the lead singer. This is one of the first examples I know of of the typical Essous singing style. I am not sure about the other singers or the guitarist on these tracks (apart from Rossignol).
The last of the Esengo tracks is another example of those superior and timeless Nino compositions: "Comité Rock-a-Mambo". In my opinion Essous is especially great in this track.

Essous on Esengo

With the political unrest of 1959 which would eventually lead to the independence of the Belgian Congo, the musicians from Brazzaville decided that it would be better to 'regroup' on the other side of the river. Thus Essous and drummer Pandi (who also had a history with the Loningisa label) founded an orchestra which was named "Bantou Jazz", but soon changed its name to Les Bantous de la Capitale. Their first public concert back in Brazza was on August 15, 1959.

It is impossible to write down Essous' complete biography in this post. I am sure there are other sites where you can read a more concise overview of his impressive career.
I can promise you, however, I will come back with more Bantous in a later post.
For now, I would like to give you an example of the brilliance that was Bantous with the great Jean-Serge Essous, in the form of this record from 1963, released on the Stenco label. I advise you to read the description on the back of the sleeve of this record (the scan quality is unfortunately rather poor; but you can find the same information on this sleeve).

Stenco B 25421

May his soul rest in peace.

PS: In the photo at the top of this post Essous is the one with the white shirt (and the tell-tale clarinet in his hand...).

November 28, 2009


Although I suspect the word was borrowed from Kabasélé's African Jazz, the roots of the orchestra using the word "Ambiyansey" go back even further than this legendary Congolese band. Because in the year African Jazz was founded Salum Abdallah renamed his orchestra "La Paloma", which he founded four years before in 1948, to Cuban Marimba.
If you are interested in music from this early period I advise you to look out for the "Ngoma Iko Huku" CD on the Dizim label (dizim 4701-2).

In this post I would like to share a cassette from a later period, but I can't tell you exactly when this music was recorded.

There is certainly an influence of Congolese music in Cuban Marimba's songs, but this is more noticeable in the details (the "Ambiyansey" I mentioned, the title "Maselina" and such) than in the music itself. The music has a very strong authenticity, a unique Tanzanian originality.
Listen to that break after 1'12 in "Wame Zoweya Kusema", or the one after 1'58 in "Cysilia", or to the hypertensed guitar playing in "Hayawi Hayawi", or to that 'free fall' (and no parachute!) rhythm in "Kilazi Munambie": it's all brilliantly uniquely Cuban Marimba!

Regretfully the quality of the cassette is rather poor. But who cares, with such a great ambiyanse!


November 23, 2009

Donso 2: Yaya Sangaré

Compared to the amount of words in print about the hunters' music of the Wassoulou there is sadly little of this music available in the shops. This is regrettable, because it is the music itself that has given rise to its fame, and not all the various music styles which (claim to) have been derived from it.

This is only one of the reasons why I am posting another cassette by a donso n'goni artist. The main reason is, of course, that it is just plain great music.

This cassette by Yaya Sangaré is (again) one of the many produced by Siriman Diallo, who is the number one specialist and authority when it comes to hunters' music. His cassettes are strictly legitimate, with all copyrights paid.

Like many of the great donso n'goni artists Yaya Sangaré is a man with a strong personality. The force of this can be sensed in his music. He is perhaps not as spectacular as Yoro Sidibé, and certainly not as extreme as that young lion Sekouba Traoré (who will the subject of a later post), but he has enough depth to compensate for what he lacks in ardour.

It seems to me this cassette was recorded in two sessions, with side A and the first two tracks of side B belonging to the - more introspective - first, and the last three tracks to the - slightly more extrovert - second. Both moods seem to fit in perfectly with the stormy wet November weather we are having here in Western Europe (but don't ask me why...).

Siriman Diallo SD 041

November 22, 2009

Balaké à Paris

The first Amadou Balaké album I heard was "A Paris - Djala Songo". I can't say I went wild. On the contrary, it took me quite a while to get over it.

In those days there were still loads of traces of the golden era of African orchestras. There was an unbridled optimism of the treasures still waiting to be unveiled. And Paris (i.e. the Parisian producers and recording studios) was seen by some as the neo-colonialiser, the corruptor of authentic African culture.

I suppose there was an element of truth in this.
Paris did set a standard when it came to the use of modern electronics in African music, and in doing so initiated a process which led to the end of the large horn sections, and therefore to the end of the great African orchestras.

But over time my negative view of this album has mellowed. I have learnt to listen less to the irritating arrangements & instrumentation, and more to Balaké.
And Balaké?
He is as always brilliant, consistently himself. If you are able to look through the electronics and canned choruses it is still the same Balaké as when he recorded for Club Voltaïque de Disques, or when he sang about the evil money can cause in "Wariko" on "Afro-Charanga" and on "Baya".

Sacodis LS-86

November 21, 2009

Bukasa, Kalombo & Brainck

The Congolese music from the late 1950s has not had the recognition it thoroughly deserves. When the Esengo label got started on January 1, 1957, and Rock-a-Mambo jammed with Kabasélé's African Jazz, when Isaac Musekiwa joined Franco and Vicky at Loningisa, and when Leon Bukasa joined forces with Raymond Brainck and Albino Kalombo at Ngoma, that's when the golden era of Congolese music broke loose.

And in this post I would like to focus on the latter of the three teams.
In an earlier post I have given some biographic details about Bukasa, and I refer you to those.
I wish I could give you details about Albino Kalombo's life, but I only know that he came from the Katanga province, and from the early 1950s established himself as a multi instrumentalist, but mainly played the sax (alto). He also played with the O.K. Jazz for a while in the early 1960s.
A little more is known about Raymond Brainck*. According to Michel Lonoh (in his "Essai de commentaire de la Musique Congolaise Moderne") he was born on August 8, 1938, - but Lonoh does not mention where. As far as I have been able to ascertain he appears on the scene as a musician with the Ngoma label in 1957, playing with Leon Bukasa and others. Subsequently he re-appears with Gerard Madiata and his Kongo Jazz on the Esengo label, where he delivers what is perhaps his most famous composition, "La Belle Lucie Botayi" (and what a great composition it is too!! See this earlier post). After that he seems to have played with Dewayon in his orchestre Cobantou, but I get the impression that he left there in 1966. A few years later he re-surfaces in Les Noirs, a Congolese orchestra of some repute, which has left a big impact in East Africa. The trail goes cold there, I am afraid..... I have heard rumours though that he had gone to the US.

So let's study the 'evidence', in this case five and a half records released on the Ngoma label. Of these one was released in 1953, all the others in 1958 and 1959.

The one from 1953 is by Albino Kalombo, accompanied by not only Leon Bukasa, but also by the legendary ensemble San Salvador, featuring Georges Edouard, Manuel D'Oliviera, Henri Freitas and Bila Edouard. Their contribution in the track "Ata velo? Ata paouni? Alors c'est trop!" is evident by their typical rhythm, which even today has a lot of followers (most notably Josky Kiambukuta and Koffi Olomide), and which is derived from the polka piquée rhythm. The rhythm is less prominent in the B-side, but still seems to seep into the music. Although to our present-day ears the sax may not sound very special, Albino Kalombo is said to have had a huge influence on those who followed in his footsteps. Maybe it was his 'positioning' in the instrumentation which was different. In "Pauline wa ngai, timbe-timbe yeyeye" the sax and guitar start off almost as a duet.

Although he is not credited, I assume Albino Kalombo is also the sax player on the tracks from 1958 and 1959. Raymond Brainck, however, is credited. As far as I can reconstruct, Papa Noel had played with Bukasa until the end of 1957, his last recordings being "Simplice Wa Bolingo" / "Bibi Sultani". I am not sure if Raymond Brainck should be seen as a replacement. Because his exceptional qualities as a guitar player must have been clear from the word "go". You only have to listen to his perky chords in "Cherie Melanie", or to the brilliant way in which he dictates the course of the song in "Makutana wa Chinkolobwe" ("the encounters of Chinkolobwe"), to realise that here was Real Talent.
On this and the next two records Brainck is supported on (contra)bass by Joseph Mwena, a musician with a history and a future with Kabasélé's African Jazz, and who later played with Rochereau's African Fiesta.
Together they set the tone in what I consider to be one of the classic recording sessions in Congolese music. A session that resulted in marvels like "Penepene", "Maria bolingo wa ngai", "Louise mungambule" ("Louise carried me"), "Kobeta mwasi te" ("Don't hit a woman").

I can seriously say that it doesn't get much better than this.

"Louise mungambule" was even a hit for Bukasa, and a track that is often cited when favourites from the 1950s are named. Brainck certainly made his mark with these songs, and perhaps even more because Bukasa names him in "Kobeta mwasi te". But if you ask me there is no better proof of his genius than "Penepene", in which he appears to invent a complete new set of rules for guitar playing.

The next record, featuring two songs in swahili, was recorded in 1959. Both "Baba mama mujomba" ("Papa, mama, (my) uncle") and "Ana kwa muzee" ("He has gotten old") are good examples of the unique laid-back Bukasa style. The bassist on these songs, by the way, is not Mwena, but a certain Adolphe.

Rounding off the selection is another composition by Albino Kalombo (fourth from the left in the photo), but this time from 1959: a cha-cha-cha in the luba language called "Kamungule". Backed by the Beguen Band, which by that time had - like San Salvador before - developed into the regular accompanying band of the Ngoma label, Kalombo shows off his skills as a sax player. Although Congolese sources report that this track also features Bukasa, I have my doubts about this. I do suspect the song features Henri Etari, the trumpet player in the photo on the left, and a musician who was also a regular in Bukasa's band.

Of both Bukasa and Brainck I will be posting more in the future.

Ngoma 1434 / 1873 / 1886 / 1887 / 1960 / 1978

*Whose real name must have been Raymond Kalonji. According to Gary Stewart he intended his nickname to be "Braynck" (repeating the "ray" of his first name) but this was misspelled by Ngoma. I am somewhat curious about the source for this theory.

November 13, 2009

Feeling I get

Continuing the series of singles I would like to share two records from Benin, - or rather from Dahomey (that is, from before 1975). Both are by the Super Star de Ouidah.

From the wonderful Orogod blog I have learned that this orchestra was one of the first (presumably modern) orchestras of Dahomey, but apart from this my knowledge of and about this orchestra is minimal.

I must admit I was attracted to these record by their titles. I mean "Le Peuple A Raison" ("The People Are Right") is bound to get one's imagination going, isn't it? Unfortunately, even after listening to the song, I am still left in the dark as to what the people are right about.
But luckily the music is good, although I prefer the B-side "Djomido Mahi", with its strange voices in the background (it's like someone has left the radio on in a room next to the studio...).

The second single is actually an EP. And if you thought the first record was weird, wait till you hear this one.
It was only after hearing the record four times that I could resist the temptation to go and check the speed of the record player. The voice of the singer has a natural '45rpm-played-at-33' timbre.

Again the titles set the mind off in all directions. And with the track "Feeling You Got" I am still left wondering what feeling this was supposed to be. The lyrics, supposedly in English, shed no light on the matter....

The same goes for the highlife track with the title "750 x 7". What does it mean?

The B-side of this EP begins with yet another wondrous tune, called "Los Cuoros" and no doubt intended as a happy latin dance melody of the 'fiesta' kind. And again I am left puzzled, for despite the (no doubt) good intentions I can't help but feeling like I am attending a funeral....

Of the last song "Dors Si Tu Peux" ("Sleep if you can") they have even printed the lyrics on the back. But I am still not quite sure what the meaning of this bluesy ballad is. Has someone died ("You will never again see the sun of happiness")?

Fascinating band, this Super Star de Ouidah.....

Discafric APV 45026
Discafric DCF 11

November 12, 2009

Afrika Tanzt Und Singt

I've been in some doubt whether I should post this album. It's a curiosity, but certainly with some musical merit.

It is not unlikely that the 'format' was inspired - or even bluntly copied - from Hugh Tracey's Music of Africa series. This German version of Hugh Tracey is Rolf Italiaander, a Dutch national born in Leipzig, Germany. Like Tracey he introduces the tracks on this album. But unlike Tracey Italiaander was not an ethnomusicologist, but a writer with a rather broad interest in Africa.

The record was copied for me quite a while ago, and I had never seen the sleeve until a few months ago when I discovered the record on one of the online resell sites. The picture of the sleeve is copied from this site.

For those who don't understand German, the title translates as "Africa dances and sings". The subtitle of the record is "From tam-tam to jazz", and the A-side of the record contains examples of the tam-tam, i.e. traditional, side of African music, while the B-side has the jazz or modern music. Modern in the late 1950s, that is.

Although I am certainly interested in traditional African music, the record offers only an average selection, compared to other records from the same period. The 'jazz' selection is more interesting though. There is a highlife track from Ghana, a - in my perception* - rare selection from an unnamed Tanzanian orchestra, a track by a Kenyan singer in the dry guitar style, a familiar sounding (and please help me out why it sounds familiar) song from Angola, plus two songs by Joseph Kabasélé and his African Jazz.

It is a total mystery why the sleeve notes state that the first of these is from Belgian Congo and the second from the Congo Republic. Both are in fact from the 1950s, and the second is even older than the first. The first, "Yela Ngai Rebecca", was originally recorded for the Esengo label, - so between 1957 and 1960. And the second, titled "African Jazz" and (like the first) composed by Kabasélé, was recorded for the Opika label (so before 1957) and features Isaac Musekiwa (who from 1957 went over to the O.K. Jazz) on sax.

These two songs alone merit posting this record.

Athena-Ariola 53137 G

* and please tell me (and prove to me) I am wrong!

November 09, 2009


Having posted the first lp on the Mali Music label, it seems only logical I should also share the second with you. This album contains tracks by the same orchestras as on the first, with the addition of the regional orchestra of the Sikasso region.

The addition is absolutely justified, because the two tracks are of an Orchestre Regional de Sikasso in exceptional form. With the great guitarist Madou Sangaré a.k.a. "Madou Guitare" leading the troops, Sikasso never had a stronger line-up.

Some of these songs have been re-released on CD recently by Ibrahima Sylla, who - as reliable Malian sources have reported repeatedly - has obtained these recordings by other than purely legal means. The same producer has gained access to the Syliphone catalogue by the same or a similar dubious method; and in this case the report comes from the highest possible source, Justin Morel Junior, - a man not only involved in the Syliphone label at the time, but also (at least according to the latest reports) the present Guinean Minister of Cultural Affairs. In a later post I will return to this subject....

Returning to the lp, I would like to draw your attention to the two extraordinary tracks by the Orchestre de Gao, the first based on a takamba rhythm (at least, according to the sleeve notes; I still have problems recognising the takamba bit...) and the second described more accurately as a "romance sonhraï sur un air de blues" (and this time I do hear traces of takamba).

Strangely the Rail Band is represented by two tracks which I would normally expect from Super Biton. Both "Badialamale" and "Sounan" are bambara rhythms from the Segou region. The latter is based on the bara (picture on the left) rhythm which Biton have used more than once.

Personally I can't get enough of this music by those legendary orchestras from Mali.

Mali Music Mali 1002

EDIT: there was a problem with the file. This has (hopefully) been corrected.

November 08, 2009

Kwamy & Youlou

Within weeks after Franco's death in October 1989 Polygram Kenya released a series of ten records (and matching cassettes) which they named "In Memoriam Grand Maitre Franco". The albums contained a selection of songs from the 1960s and 1970s. Some of these were re-issues of earlier Polygram albums, - like Volume 8, which had been released five years earlier as "10 Years Ago". So far I have not found an earlier version of this album, which is the second in the series.

As with most (if not all) of the lp's the sleeve of this volume has no relevance whatsoever to the music. Judging by the costumes Franco and Simaro are wearing I assume the photo is from 1980 or 1981 (see for example this video of a performance in Abidjan in 1980), while the music is from around 1970.

So, seen from a positive angle, there is really nothing to distract us from the music. And - as with other albums of this series - there is more than enough to enjoy in that.

The lp opens with two superb tracks featuring the vocal talent of Youlou Mabiala backed by Kwamy. The latter had returned to the flock, after having insulted Franco (with African Fiesta, in "Faux Millionaire" and other songs) and after repeatedly provoking an insurgence against Franco (with Orchestre Révolution). According to Graeme Ewens (in "Congo Colossus") Simaro "prevailed on Franco to take the singer back", much to the disgust of Vicky Longomba. It is likely that Kwamy's return contributed to the split between Franco and Vicky, later in 1970.
While Kwamy may not have had the same brilliance as before, there is ample proof of his vocal qualities in his last period with the O.K. Jazz*. In both "Nakweyi Tapis" and "Celita" Kwamy's backing vocal is of an exceptional quality, fitting to Youlou's lead like a velvet glove. Youlou too adds some honey to his at times harsh vocals, and Franco contributes with a few unusual shuffles on guitar.

After these two songs there is a rather surprising experiment involving a drum kit, in "Beya". While the O.K. Jazz did use a drum kit in their live performances it was difficult to incorporate the noisy instrument in their studio recordings. In "Beya", which sounds like it was recorded in the same session as "Caisse D'Epargne" (from Volume 4), the volume of the kit is still rather 'suppressed', but nevertheless very noticeable. The interplay between Franco and the rhythm section in the sèbène is certainly interesting.

The B-side opens with "Georgette 1 & 2", a track of which only the second part has appeared on CD (CD 36572), - another example of the artistic amputations of which Sonodisc can be accused over the last decades. I am not sure about the lyrics, but I have a feeling that the staccato singing in the second part may be related to the remarks about the cold in the intro.
The song, composed by Franco, has some brilliant 'intertwined' vocals (after 3'25, and again after 5'28 and 6'58) by Franco, Youlou and Lola Chécain. To me this is one of Franco's classic masterpieces.

The lp is concluded by the 'normal' version of Celi Bitshou's "(Infidelité) Mado".


* Ewens' report that Kwamy died in 1974 is - by the way - a mistake. He in fact died in 1982.

November 07, 2009

November 03, 2009

Molobaly Traoré

Only a short while after hearing about the tragic death of Mamaye Kouyaté I was informed that yet another star of Malian music has died, and again before time...

Born on the Niger river in Macina, Molobaly Traoré was a strong defender of the traditions of the Ségou region. Contrary to many artists of her stature she refused to move to the capital Bamako, and instead settled with her husband in Niono. Ironically it was in Bamako where she died of typhoid on September 16, 2009, at the age of only 43. She leaves behind a husband and two children.

Although she hardly performed outside of the Niono cercle, she was very popular in the whole of Mali. Her songs were mostly moral, directed at the common Malian. If she was a griot, she was a griot of the common man. The heroes of her songs were farmers, workers of the land.

I had already planned to post some of her cassettes, and certainly will continue posting these. Here is the oldest of the ones I have; I don't know if it is her first. I do know it is one of my favourite recordings by this wonderful artist, with great bambara songs like "Ladji Mory", "Binlondala Kon" and "Noumou Kamale" - that manage to touch emotional strings whenever I hear these.

Molobaly, rest in peace.

Sinaley Konate SK 1201

November 01, 2009


I received an email last week from Podomatic to warn me that all the (monthly) bandwidth I was entitled to as a free user had been used up. The email urged me to get a paid subscription which would allow me a greater amount of bandwidth.
I gather that the result of this was that visitors to this blog or to the podomatic page were unable to listen to the podcasts, which you can - if you hadn't noticed - find at the bottom left of this page.

As this is a no-budget blog, I have no intention of spending money on extending my podcast capacities. So to reduce the 'pressure' on my monthly quota of bandwidth (and with a risk of creating a problem elsewhere...) I am posting the tracks of the Franco podcast, which I assume was the cause of the recent bandwidth crisis.

The songs in this selection were recorded during various concerts in both Belgium and the Netherlands between 1983 and 1989. There is a chance I may post more of these concerts at a later stage.
I hasten to add (at the request of Aboubacar Siddikh*) that not all the tracks in this selection feature Franco. During "Massu" Franco's stand-in was (as per usual) Thierry Mantuika.

I have included two versions of "Luvumbu Ndoki", because - according to members of the T.P. O.K. Jazz - Franco used this song to slip in some comments regarding the audience. They were rather reluctant to reveal the contents of these comments, - which makes me even more curious. I am hoping there are listeners who can clear up the mystery.

The recording quality is at times perhaps somewhat disappointing. Please remember that these recordings were made by pre-digital equipment, i.e. on (analog) cassette. Of "Chacun Pour Soi", a composition by Josky Kiambukuta Franco played at all the concerts, I intentionally selected the 1983 version recorded in Belgium, in front of a largely Congolese (Zairois) audience. I guess Franco only later realised the 'potential' of this song as a climax of the more spectacular performances for largely white audiences.

The last three songs are from the same concert, and were - as you can hear - performed in this order. This should give you an idea of the diversity Franco put into his shows in the late 1980s.

Franco - Alive!

*who took the photo of Franco (in the Melkweg - Jan.1989) at the right. The other photo is from the Claridge concert in May 1983.

Evil genius

While going through some of the older posts a few days ago I was drawn to an article which was referred to in a comment on a post about Victor Olaiya. The article can be found here (but in case the linked page disappears I have saved the text here). It contains an interview with this highlife legend, who appears* to be (fingers crossed) alive and well.

I am not completely satisfied with his answer to the question how he got his nickname "The Evil Genius of Highlife". Olaiya: "They thought I moved highlife music out of the ordinary. Then, it was believed that my highlfe was a little bit out of this world, beyond explanation. This was why Alhaji Alade Odunewu of the Daily Times styled me the Evil Genius of Highlife."
This may explain the "genius", but not the "evil"...

Maybe the evilness was in his lyrics. Apparently some of his songs dealt with some unpleasant truths. In the interview he cites a song warning against marrying a police woman, which led to him being persecuted by the subjects of the song. I have no idea if other songs by Olaiya caused similar controversy.

An article by Richard Eghaghe from the Nigerian Daily Independent (quoted here) states that Victor Olaiya was the founder of the Cool Cats. This is contradicted by the sleeve notes of the EP I would like to share with you in this post. These name Carl 'Moody' Anifowose as the founder of this band, which Olaiya joined after leaving the Sammy Akpabot Sextet.
It's just a detail, but these details have a tendency to blossom into truths.....

About the music I can be short: it is superb.
The record quality is not so great though. And that's why I am adding a single from a later date, by Victor Olaiya and his All Stars.

As with the older Cool Cats record, the All Stars songs are deliciously laid-back, and very recognisably 'Olaiya'. I just love the instrumental bits in these songs, after 1'40 in "Lekeleke" and after 1'29 on "Aiye Soro". They are evidence of true genius, - evil or not...

Philips 420001 PE 'Afro Rhythm Parade vol.2' (ep)
Philips West African 303.016 PF (single)

* I have discovered nothing to indicate that he is not alive...