December 06, 2008

National Service

I can only guess about the origins and status of the National Service Band from Tanzania. I suspect that they were related in some way to the army, but there is no basis for the suspicion. Google only offers an article about Kassim Saidi Mapili, who claims to have been a member of this band (when?).

Listening to the music, there is an elementary influence of Congolese music, but the style has developed into a very original Tanzanian sound. The lead and rhythm (do listen to the rhythm guitar!) guitars are very pronounced and rip through most of the songs. Saxes -but no trumpet-, with traces of Verckys/Musekiwa.
I would guess that the music is from the early 1970s.

If there is anyone who can provide additional information about this (in my opinion) great orchestra, please comment on this post!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. You're running a wonderful blog, love it!

Anonymous said...

There is another album listed in ken tanza vinyl.

Saba 7-165 - National Service Jazz Band , Esta Nilipokuaga/Mwongonzo.

Unknown said...

avinylThe listing on the KenTanza site is for a 7in single not an album. The Saba Saba label it is on - and this cassette seems to be from the same company - was run by AP Chandarana of Kericho, Kenya, who seemed to be a "specialist in all styles" recording everything from benga to taarab.

I ssuspect you are right about this being an army-connected band. Given the high price of imported instruments, state sponsorship of bands was quite common in the 1970s.