October 26, 2010


I apologise for my sudden absence for over 5 weeks. I have been on 'holiday' to Cuba, - although this trip has left me desperate for a real holiday. If you like, I will get back to you about the situation in Cuba in a later post.

There are a few general remarks I would like to make about some of the comments on earlier posts:
1. Please refrain from any linking (in name or otherwise) in your comments to commercial sites of any kind. These comments will be removed and labelled as spam.
2. It is possible that some of the older links have expired. Please don't hesitate to let me know! I will repost these albums and add links in the original posts.

I am still not back to my normal routine, but - as an appetiser for things to come - I would like to share a rare and in many aspects wondrous album with you. It is a collection of tracks composed by Lutumba Ndomanueno Simaro. I haven't seen this cd anywhere since the day I bought it, so I am assuming it is out of print, and that's a great pity!

The first four tracks are in my opinion the least interesting. These tracks were originally released as African Sun Music ASM 003 (lp), and are responsible for the somewhat misleading title of this cd.

After these four tracks are the two real gems of this collection: the stunning "Mi Amor" and "Lisana Ebandaki Na Kin". Two tracks that in all aspects demonstrate the delicate touch of the real master poet that Simaro was and (if I am well informed) still is. Such refinement, so much sentiment, such a joy for the heart!!
As if to sign the masterpiece, Simaro himself can be heard at the beginning of "Mi Amor". Whistled in the background of the ensuing discussion the tune can already be heard. The song taking off is like the opening of a book, and it is opened with a delicate elegance. The lead vocal, probably by Lukoki Diatho (see these posts), is as graceful and subtle as the composition itself.
I can only speculate about the content of the song. Judging by the few words I do understand, the lyrics are typical of Simaro's impressive oeuvre, asking questions, wondering why the world is the way it is and what is in store for us after this life.

"Lisana Ebandaki Na Kin" must be from the same session, with the same musicians from the T.P. O.K. Jazz (with others?). The exact setting, circumstances and participants are still unclear to me, and I am hoping someone reading this post can shed some light on these....
It ís clear, however, that the song "Lisana Ebandaki Na Kin" is about musical heroes of the 1950s like Jhimmy, Dechaud and Camille Feruzi.

The other tracks of this collection (all featuring the O.K. Jazz) appear to have been selected randomly. "Dit Laurence" was released earlier on Pathé 2C 150 15973/74 and on Sonodisc CD 36554, as was "Gege Yoka" ("G.G." on Sonodisc). "Ti Tokabwana Nakoma Ndoki", with Franco singing the lead vocal, seems somewhat out of place, but this feeling is even stronger with "Gina Bondela Famille". Going by the somewhat thin guitar sound I think I could even be persuaded that this song is not by the O.K. Jazz, although the guitarist does have a tendency to linger on, and the chords are struck with some force, - both signs that Franco may be the one holding the instrument.
It is an even greater mystery why the last track is faded out after only a minute and eleven seconds.

As I wrote: this is just an appetiser. I hope to get back into the 'posting mode' a.s.a.p......

Clarys Music RMP 303498