Zaire 74: The African
Artists (Wrasse 349; 51:03/64:38 ++++).
Sweet soukous singer Tabu Ley Rochereau
puts his Afrisa band through its syncopated
paces on five romping tracks. Guitarist Franco
and his TPOK Jazz Orchestra are just as powerful,
offering the work chant “Mosala” and nine
more songs. Jangly electric guitar textures,
horn sections and reams of Afro and Caribbean
rhythms generate terrific dance excitement
among the huge swaying audience.
A supernova of international fame despite
career-harming racism, Miriam Makeba roots
her beautiful singing in heartfelt concern for
continental solidarity and Xhosa traditional
music. The Congolese soukous group Orchestre
Stukas, on four tracks, succeeds admirably
in keeping the polyrhythmic proceedings rapturous.
Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, featured
singer-guitarist Abumba Masikini expresses
anguished regret on “Limbisa Nga.” Regrettably
missing: Manu “Makossa Man” Dibango.
Ordering info: wrasserecords.com