November 13, 2008

Trio Madjesi

Although they are mostly associated with their work as trio, the three members of the Trio Madjesi had an impressive career before joining forces. All three at one point sang with Orchestre Vévé, and Loko Masengo 'Djeskin' sang on the Loningisa label in the early 1960s with the first edition of Vicky Longomba's Négro Succes and later joined Vox Africa. Frank Bessem mentions that he started with Jamel National, but I can't imagine that this was before Négro Succes.

I am sure I have seen Mario Matadidi Mabele's name with other bands too, but at this moment I can't recall where.
The third member of the trio, Saak 'Sinatra' Saakul, is in fact the only real Zairois. Matadi is from Angola and Djeskin from Congo-Brazzaville.

Here are four 45s of the famous trio. I think they were released on the African label in the original chronological order.
The first, "8e Round", is about the Rumble in the Jungle between Mohammed Ali and George Foreman. The B-side is hilarious.

8e Round / 6e Round Interview (African 91.162)
Ngadiadia / Gestemany (African 91.221)
Bondoki / Nzambi A Mpungu (African 91.415)
Longo Nono 1 / Longo Nono 2 (African 91.416)

After their succes in the mid-1970s the trio tried several times to rekindle that Madjesi magic. Here is a video from one such attempt. The orchestra accompanying Matadidi Mabele (in the red), Loko Masengo (in the white) and Saak Saakul is Tabu Ley's Afrisa.

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