Showing posts with label Vijana Jazz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vijana Jazz. Show all posts

Saturday, January 5, 2013

More Memories of Maneti

A couple of years ago I posted some memorable Muziki wa Dansi, a tribute by Tanzania's Orchestra Vijana Jazz to their departed lead singer Hayati Hemed Maneti. Hayati Maneti (Last Recording) (Ahadi/Flatim AHD (MC) 6018) is another outing dedicated to the great vocalist. The usual caveats regarding recording quality apply:

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Witi Zangu Mnaninyanyasa

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Ngapulila No. 2

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Imani za Uchawi

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Nyongise (Kihehe)

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Heshima ya Mtu

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Siri ya Ndani

Download Hayati Maneti (Last Recording) as a zipped file here. Purely by coincidence, when I logged on this morning I saw that Stefan at WorldService has posted the great Vijana LP Mary Maria here. And if you're looking for still more classic Vijana, Sterns Music's The Koka Koka Sex Battalion: Rumba, Koka Koka & Kamata Sukuma - Music From Tanzania 1975-1980 is highly recommended. The picture at the top of this post is entitled "My Village" and is by a Tanzanian artist named Mkumba. Explore more of his work and that of a number of other excellent East African artists here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Tanzanian Souvenir

Orchestra Vijana Jazz, one of Tanzania's top dance bands, was founded in 1971 under the sponsorship of Umoja wa Vijana Tanzania, then the Youth League of the ruling Tanzania African National Union (TANU). Over the last couple of decades as the Tanzanian economy has "liberalized" I suspect Vijana has had to make its own way. It quite possibly may not exist anymore. The Orchestra has undergone numerous personnel changes over the years, notably the death of vocalist Hemed Maneti, who wrote some of the band's most memorable tunes like "Mary Maria" and "Tambiko la Pamba Moto."

"Ukumbusho" literally translates as "reminder" but it probably more closely means "souvenir" or "in memoriam." The cassette Ukumbusho: Hayati Hemed Maneti (Ahadi/Flatim MSKCAS 514) was apparently issued to commemorate the life of Vijana's beloved lead singer. As usual for an Ahadi/Flatim production the sound quality is not up to snuff. Musically it's memorable indeed.

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Jiko Limenuna

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Najilaumu

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Nilitaka Iwe Siri

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Unikubalie

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Ndoa Ni Kuvumiliana

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Madaraka Kwenye Bar

Download Ukumbusho as a zipped file here. More Vijana Jazz on Likembe here, and you can find another great cassette by them here.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pamba Moto, Sikinde, Duku Duku & More

In the last week I've been afflicted not only by writer's block but by a mild yet persistent case of the flu. So let's make a virtue of necessity - less talk, more music! Here's another helping of Muziki wa Dansi from Tanzania, one of the more popular entrees on the Likembe menu. Let's kick-start things with a classic 45 by the reigning kings of the big-band Swahili sound, DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra. This is AHD 02 in the Ahadi catalog, released in 1983:

DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra - Matatizo ya Nyumbani Pts. 1 & 2

Here's another great track from the excellent 1986 collection Best of DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra Vol. 1 (Ahadi ADHLP 6002):

DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra - Clara

I'm not sure if Orchestra Vijana Jazz is still on the scene, but it was formed in 1971 and has undergone numerous personnel changes over the years, suffering a major loss in 1990 with the death of its leader Hemed Maneti. Here's a rollicking 45 from 1983, Ahadi catalog number AHD 03:

Orchestra Vijana Jazz - Mama Njiti Pts. 1 & 2

Now we have this 45 from 1983 or '84 (Ahadi AHD 04), credited to Ndala Kasheba ("Freddie Supreme") and Orchestra Safari Sound (Dar). Werner Graebner writes that the OSS was dissolved in 1985 by its owner, businessman Hugo Kiisima, who then set up the International Orchestra Safari Sound, led by Muhiddin Maalim Gurumo and Abel Balthazar. So, did Kasheba keep the "old" OSS going? The release Tanzania Hit Parade '88 (Ahadi AHDLP 6005, 1988) lists two IOSS bands, subtitled "Duku Duku" and "Ndekule." Mysterious and mysteriouser:

Orchestra Safari Sound (Dar) - Dunia Msongamano Pts. 1 & 2

Here's the song that, as I've written earlier, launched my love affair with Swahili music: Remmy Ongala's ethereal "Mariamu" (Polydor POL 554, 1983). In my opinion it's superior to the
version that appeared on 1989's Songs for the Poor Man (RealWorld 91315-2), with these heartfelt lyrics: "Love burns like a fire . . . I cry for the wrong that I have done. Pity me, there is nothing I think of more than you. I am thin like a coconut palm, for the love of you. At night I dream, the whole day I can't eat. My heart is boiling, my body and blood dried-up. With the love that's burning within me. My Mariamu, my lover, you come today, you go today. I am suffering in my heart, and you are my heart":

Remmy Ongala & Orchestra Super Matimila - Mariamu Pts. 1 & 2

Finally, here's a group that I'm not actually sure is from Tanzania. Orchestra Super Sound, led by Kalala Mbwebwe, could very well be Kenyan. Their sound is closer to the sort of pop confections that were popular in the Nairobi music scene ca. the mid-'80s. But since this 45 was released on the Ken-Tanza label (KT (C) 055, to be specific), which as far as I know, released Tanzanian artists exclusively, I'll assume they're from that country. Enjoy!

Orchestra Super Sound - Fantaar Pts. 1 & 2

The picture at the top of this post is "Drummer Girl"
(2006) by Tanzanian artist Maurus Michael Malikita. Efforts to get in touch with Mr. Malikita by email to ask his permission to reproduce were unsuccessful, so I took the liberty. I apologize to Mr. Malikita for this, and if he would like me to remove it, he can get in touch with me via the comments or write me here: beadlejp (at) yahoo (dot) com. You can view some of Mr. Malikita's work at the above link (or click on the picture). Please drop in, and consider buying one of his paintings.
At the end of this week I'll be heading out East to do the college-tour thing with my daughter. We'll probably meet up with a couple of fellow African music fans that I've been in touch with, and I'm hoping to check out some African restaurants. Chances are I won't have access to a computer, so this will probably be my last post for awhile. If your musical cravings become too unbearable, please check in with some of the fine purveyors over in the left-hand sidebar. Ciao!

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

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!