Thursday, September 20, 2007

By Request: Mbaraka Mwinshehe

A reader/listener requested some music by Mbaraka Mwinshehe, and I'm more than happy to oblige! Mwinshehe was the great Tanzanian guitarist and vocalist who thrilled East African audiences from 1965 to 1979 with the famous Morogoro Jazz Band and then with his own Orchestra Super Volcano. He tragically perished in an auto accident in January 1979.

Mbaraka became known to many outside of Tanzania and Kenya in 2000 with the release of Mbaraka Mwinshehe & the Morogoro Jazz Band: Masimango (Dizim 4702-2). Polydor Kenya had previously released at least ten volumes of Ukumbusho (or "remembrance"). This LP series gathered together many of the singles and LP cuts that Mwinshehe made over the course of his career.

Unfortunately, the Ukumbusho volumes do not provide information on the individual recordings and seem to jumble together tracks from various points in Mwinshehe's career. Of the five songs featured in this post, "Daktari ni Mimi" (from Ukumbusho Vol. 3 [Polydor POLP 542], 1983) and "Mama Chakula Bora" (from Ukumbusho Vol. 4 [Polydor POLP 550], 1985) were apparently recorded with Morogoro Jazz, while "
Vijana wa Afrika," "Jasinta" and "Mtaa wa Saba" (all from Ukumbusho Vol. 2 [Polydor POLP 537], 1983) were probably made with Super Volcano.

Mbaraka Mwinshehe - Daktari ni Mimi

Mbaraka Mwinshehe - Mama Chakula Bora

Mbaraka Mwinshehe - Vijana wa Afrika

Mbaraka Mwinshehe - Jasinta

Mbaraka Mwinshehe - Mtaa wa Saba

Several months ago our friend Zim Bida was kind enough to send me rips of almost all of the Ukumbusho volumes that I don't have. Would you believe that I haven't even had time to listen to them all yet? Rest assured that I plan on posting more of this great music in the future!


Anonymous said...

This is great stuff. Since you like the Tanzanian stuff, I'm wondering if you have or could recommend any mchiriku?

Anonymous said...

Smooth East African lyrics. Kindly post Expo 70 pt 1&2, Ester Wangu, and akula mwembesongo by the same artist, Mbaraka Mwinshehe.

John B. said...

Wes: I actually didn't know anything about Mchiriku until you mentioned it, but a Google search turned up quite a bit of information.

Gilly: I'm sure I have the tracks you mention somewhere. I'll dig around & see what I can turn up.

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

MOB said...

Well, I'm late to this party but I still feel compelled to post. This is absolutely berserk. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

the guitar solo on Dr Kleru is out of this world....Mwinshehe was one of the greatest African guitarists, up there with Dr Nico and Franco

Anonymous said...

We greatly appreciate a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. Thanks a million. I beg to differ on "Kibena" though. I've been after that song for ages but this is not it. This is "Vijana Wa Afrika". Hopefully some kind soul will avail "Kibena".

Thanks again for your tireless effort to tickle our eardrums.

Anonymous said...

just thanks for the decent Mbaraka!