Having finally recovered from a hard disk crash and with all systems back in working order, I think it may be a good idea to post some more music from that glorious era of Congolese music: the late 1950s and early 1960s.
This time with some more hits from the Ngoma label.
The oldest of these are by Camille Feruzi and his Mystérieux Jazz. Camille Feruzi was born in Stanleyville in 1912. At a very young age he taught himself to play the accordeon, following in his father's footsteps. When his father was at work the young Camille used to secretly practise. At the age of 15 he moved to Leopoldville, but it wasn't until ten years later that he started his career in music. Together with a sax and clarinet player from Guadeloupe he started a musical group, with apart Camille's accordion and the Guadeloupean's sax & clarinet a piano and a guitar. The ensemble played in bars and at private dances.
In 1948 Camille Feruzi is one of the first musicians to be contracted by the Ngoma label. His first hits were "Makango" (Ngoma 27) and "Polina" (Ngoma 29). His star seemed to fade after the first few years, and his career seemed to end with introduction of electrical instruments. But in 1957 he managed to resuscitate his contract with Ngoma by starting an orchestra called Mystérieux Jazz. Key members of this orchestre were bass player Taumani and singers Beya (a.k.a. Ténor Beya) and Mariola. The orchestra's first record was released in early 1957, with "Biso Na Yo Mbula Moko" on the A-side and "Nabala Muluba" on side B. Apparently it wasn't an immediate hit, because it wasn't until a year later that they were allowed to enter the studio again, this time to record "Emiyama" and "Na Motindeli Mokanda". These two songs did ignite the fuse, and the Mystérieux Jazz continued making a several dozens of records for Ngoma.
I would like to share two records by this orchestra with you: an EP from the Ngoma Super 45t series, with besides "Nabala Muluba" (which was also released on "Ngoma, the early years" PAMAP 101) three songs originally released in 1959, and the record from 1958 which really turboed his career: "Emiyama" and "Na Motindeli Mokanda".
Ngoma Super 45t No.1002
To compensate for the inactivity of the last week I am adding two more EP's from the Ngoma Super 45t series.
The first is by Orchestre Jecokat. I haven't been able to find out a lot about this orchestra, apart from the meaning of the abbreviation "Jecokat", which stands for "Jeunes Comédiens du Katanga". I have had to check a few times to verify that I hadn't made mistake in copying the title of their second song "Ami Pauvre Vida", but I can assure this is what it says on the record label. All four songs of Orchestre Jecokat are outstanding examples of the exceptional level of Congolese music in the early 1960s.
Ngoma Super 45t No.21
The second EP is by Vedette Jazz, an orchestra founded in 1958 in Brazzaville. In their early years they were joined by legendary sax player Isaac Musekiwa, who at the time had made a name for himself with African Jazz and (from 1957) with the O.K. Jazz. Musekiwa left to rejoin Franco, but these songs - probably from the mid-1960s - feature an artist who from the early 1970s became a loyal member of the O.K. Jazz: Mpudi Decca. I am not sure if he was playing bass in these tracks, because - if I am not mistaken - André Lasso, who composed the songs on the B-side, was (also) a bass player.
I'll be posting some more tracks by Vedette Jazz in the future, but these will hopefully act as an appetizer. I particularly like the instrumental "Veux Tu Danser Avec Moi?"; it's one of these songs that can haunt you for days......
Ngoma Super 45t No.54
PS: More Camille Feruzi (with the O.K. Jazz) to follow in a later post....
PPS: All tracks in 1 file here.
Going Way, Way Back to the 50s on February 27
9 hours ago