Boxing fans, lovers of music and historians know and appreciate the overall context of the “Rumble in the Jungle”. The late Muhammad Ali and George Foreman‘s fight was a spectacle that forever changed the sport. From James Brown to Mariam Makeba to trumpeter Hugh Masekela — the three-day music festival highlighted the top African and African American performers in the world.
They called it Zaire ’74.
Now, what if you were to learn about the sets and sounds from artists that you didn’t know about? That is the premise behind Forgotten Rumbles: New Release Highlights Stunning, Neglected Sets by the African Stars of Zaire 74. Despite the festival being a success and the recordings of the Americans becoming legendary, the African musician’s sets were never released… until now.
Scheduled for release on May 26, 2017, Zaire ’74 captures this unique moment in sports + music history by offering fans the first listen of complete, remixed and mastered performances by Abeti Masikini, Pembe Dance Troupe, Franco and O.K JazzTabu Ley Rochereau and Afrisa, and more. A true timestamp in African history, there was an era of optimism across the continent, as independence spread and the belief that the world would adopt its sound would take hold.
Without going too far into a history lesson about history, Zaire ’74 is worth it for any true blue record collector. You, too, can hear the African stars of one of the most historical sporting events ever, as they sound as fresh and exciting as they did on those hot nights in Kinshasa.