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!



Anonymous said...

You're the MAN! Thanks a million. To this Kenyan "Upcountry" boy Juma Kilaza was poet. I used to marvel at his lyrical skills and the way he poured his soul in every song. Only classic Taarab was more subtle in use of Swahili language in music compared to him. I'm on Cloud Nine right now reliving days of my youth you should see the grin on my face...:-) Thanks again.

joe said...

This post was a good reason to pull out the Dizim CD and give it another spin. I gotta say that I like this cassette (a lot) more than the CD. So what if it has a few warts! Thanks!!!

Gad said...

Thanks buddy for this posting. I'm really enjoying the music. Many thanks!

Reneb Ficaz said...

Finally I get to enjoy some Cuban Marimba I've haerd so much about them. Thanks Wrldsrv.

KameraBuff said...

Thanks so much for this great upload! The Salum Abdullah/Cuban Marimba CD from Dizim is one of my favorites, and I know I'll enjoy this just as much. And congratulations on this great site, btw.

Daan said...
-- obviously -- from the same general time, judging by the sound.

XO said...

Maybe mentioned somewhere else on your fantastic blog, but the cd 'Dada Kidawa' (Sister Kidawa) on Original Music is a nice one as well. It contains 4 great songs by Cuban Marimba and 15 more fantastic pieces of music from Kiko Kids Jazz, Atomic Jazz Band, Nuta Jazz Band, Dares Salaam Jazz Band and others.