Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tanzania Hit Parade '88




Note: This post was updated on September 20, 2008 to incorporate a translation of the song "Marashi ya Pemba" by reader/listener Xodi.

Judging from the feedback I've gotten on the last couple of Tanzanian posts it seems that people just can't get enough of the classic Muziki wa Dansi sound - massed horns, a subtle yet propulsive beat, vocals to make you cry - and who can blame them? I present to you, then, four of the bands that made it happen in Dar es Salaam back in the '80s: Mlimani Park, Vijana Jazz, Maquis Original, and two versions of the International Orchestra Safari Sound (Duku Duku and Ndekule), from the LP Tanzania Hit Parade '88 (Ahadi AHDLP 6005, 1988).

Like those Mlimani Park tracks I posted a couple of weeks ago, this is a Doug Paterson production, and Doug has a great background article on the artists by Werner Graebner over on his site. Enjoy!

Vijana Jazz Orchestra - Mundinde

Maquis Original - Clara

Reader/listener Xodi writes: "Marashi ya Pemba - this brings back lots of memories - my translation is probably not the best nor is it quite complete but I think it conveys the essence of the song:

at dawn the sea breeze hit me
i saw the star in the east
to live on an island mama has its own sweetness
mafia pemba zanzibar - our islands

the day I get to pemba
the wife of the sultan shall organize
that I get to explore all its sections - till the last

the perfume of Pemba
Cloves!

I will not be left behind - I will get on a plane to Pemba
I hear it is very nice (there)
that in the evening there is a seabreeze/light wind
that it smells strongly of cloves
International Orchestra Safari Sound (Duku Duku) - Marashi ya Pemba

International Orchestra Safari Sound (Ndekule) - Christina Moshi

Vijana Jazz Orchestra - Chaurembo

DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra - Hasira

Update: You know what would be really nice? If someone who knows Swahili could fill us in on what the lyrics are all about. C'mon! I know you're out there!

18 comments:

Tim said...

Thanks so much, John. It's a fantastic album, full of driving guitar work and punchy horns - exactly what top-flight muziki wa dansi should be!

kabuga said...

What a blog? Pls keep up the nice work. Am a great fan of Tanzanian rumba. you have chiku by vijana jazz? kiongo - marquis? mnyonge hana haki - Remmy? asia - bimalee?

aduna said...

Superb album! Thanks a lot.

Aduna

Anonymous said...

Spot on Jon, the more Tanzanian music the better.

d

Anonymous said...

your blog has leaped to top of the heap - best african music source around. Thank you for the wonderful music.

zim said...

great selection John.

Kabuga, do you perhaps mean tshiku by orch. les noirs?

kabuga said...

Zim,

THere is another song chiku by vijana jazz. it is very sweet for swahili speakers.

Anonymous said...

How nice to have heard those tunes! Would you please drop some TAARAB TUNES too????

zim said...

kabuga,

never heard the vijana jazz "chiku" but would love to, do you know if it ever appeared on LP?

Jeff Msangi said...

Zim,
Great music that brings so much memories.I am from Tanzania and and would be more than happy to do a little translation of some tracks.Just mention which one.Otherwise just keep em coming.You have a great taste.

zim said...

hey Jeff,

the taste you are admiring (and with good cause) is John B.'s not mine. I'm sure he'll have a track he would like you to translate

I'm just happy with the great music he is sharing

John B. said...

Jeff,

If it's not too much trouble, if you could do summaries of the six tracks on this album, I'd be happy to post them for everyone to read.

matt said...

pure niceness..thanks John

Jeff Msangi said...

Jon,
I will try,very soon.Keep them coming .

Comb & Razor said...

it seems pretty amazing to me that this music is from the late 80s! it has such a 1970s feel to it... so did Tanzania never get smitten by the 80s synth curse?

kabuga said...

Zim,

I will try and see whether i can get info about it.

Al said...

Thanks so much for posting - this is wonderful!

xodi said...

Marashi ya Pemba - this brings back lots of memories - my translation is probably not the best nor is it quite complete but I think it conveys the essence of the song.

at dawn the sea breeze hit me
i saw the star in the east
to live on an island mama has its own sweetness
mafia pemba zanzibar - our islands

the day I get to pemba
the wife of the sultan shall organize
that I get to explore all its sections - till the last

the perfume of Pemba
Cloves!

I will not be left behind - I will get on a plane to Pemba
I hear it is very nice (there)
that in the evening there is a seabreeze/light wind
that it smells strongly of cloves