January 26, 2010

Kongo Georges

Just one EP in this post, I'm afraid. But there are still four songs by Kongo Jazz on this record, and that's two more than on the EP I posted earlier.

Two of these songs were composed by Simaro Lutumba, of O.K. Jazz fame, who in an interview in 1991 (see below) named one of these, "Lisolo Ya Ndako", as a song of which he has fond memories. Unfortunately he did not say why...

On side two there are two songs composed by a certain Bejos, both featuring a harmonica (which may suggest that there is a link between Bejos and the harmonica..). The first of these is an instrumental track.

Although I have no confirmation of this, it appears to me that one of the two singers in these songs is Lola Djangi 'Chécain', who started his musical career in 1957, in a band called Micra Jazz, alongside Simaro and Raymond Brainck while still at school. They went on to form Kongo Jazz (named after Kongo Georges, the owner of the bar where they performed, and where the O.K. Jazz had performed before them) in 1957, and were signed on to the Esengo label in 1960. At the Esengo label he met Nino Malapet and Rock-a-Mambo, and Dewayon and his Conga Jazz, which bands he joined before switching over to the O.K. Jazz in 1967.

Kongo Jazz recorded quite a few tracks at the Esengo label. Chronologically the two Simaro tracks were originally released after the two tracks in my earlier post. Of the two Bejos compositions I have no idea when they were released.

I am digging up material for a post dedicated to the lead singer of the Kongo Jazz, Gérard Madiata, who Simaro described as a great singer who sang in all the languages: flemish, dutch, english...

The interviews with Simaro and Chécain can be found here.

Columbia ESDF 1444 (new link November 2, 2010)

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