Sunday, January 10, 2010

Black Warriors

Ronnie Graham's The World of African Music (Pluto Press/Research Associates, 1992) states that Tanzania's DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra recorded several albums and singles in the early '80s under the name "The Black Warriors." Doug Paterson told me a few years ago, though, that The Black Warriors were actually a subgroup of Mlimani who recorded in Nairobi without permission from bandleader Michael Enoch. For this transgression they were expelled from the group, only to return later.

Whatever the true story, in the early '90s Flatim Records in Nairobi compiled six Black Warriors 45s into a compilation cassette, Tunazikumbuka Vol. 20 (AHD [MC] 038), which I present here. This cassette is compiled from vinyl pressings rather than the original source tapes, and Flatim cassettes are well-known for their dodgy technical standards. The quality of the musical performances shines through nonetheless, and I'm sure you'll enjoy hearing alternate versions of some Mlimani classics.

The Black Warriors - Nawashukuru Wazazi Wangu Pts. 1 & 2

The Black Warriors - Zimbabwe Pts. 1 & 2

The Black Warriors - Bubu Ataka Kusama Pts. 1 & 2

The Black Warriors - Nalala Kwa Tabu Pts. 1 & 2

The Black Warriors - Najuta Pts. 1 & 2

The Black Warriors - Uzuri wa Mtu Sio Sura Pts. 1 & 2

Download Tunazikumbuka Vol. 20 as a zipped file here. The artwork at the top of this post is by Tanzanian artist Mwamedi Chiwaya, and is in a style called Tingatinga. It is taken from this website.


Subi said...

Hi Likembe,
Thank you so much for these Swahili oldies from Tanzania,they really lift a lot of us up, imagine this was shared to a group of Tanzanians living abroad who have very little access to our own music.
Please do share more if you have.
May I request any song by Tancut Almasi? I am particularly looking for one song by the name, 'Mashoga'.

joe said...

Sweet! As you ment, it was good to hear these versions, "Nalala" especially. Very much appreciated, John!

Miki said...

Hi, John,

Thank you very much for your wonderful page. I automatically fell in love with it and linked it in my page for travels to Nigeria:

To pay you somehow... I don't know if you know them, but the records that Yazoo Records have released with old ethnic music ("The secret museum of mankind") has some interesting african tunes that maybe has something to do with your tastes. Here's one of them:

On the other hand, I found a precious rarity not much time ago called "Luba Mass", recorded in Congo by P. Hazeen, althought later I discovered is almost a classic. The most precious pieces are, anyway, in the side B, with traditional Luba songs... and Baluba children songs sang by them!!

Another look back to the disappearing Africa that's been saved by the records. You can't hear that record without a deep emotion after what has been happening later in the Congo...

Congratulations for your blog. So beautiful. It will take me some time to swim it!


grooVemonzter said...

Thanks a lot John. I love DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra. This is a treat for real. Cheers from Miami. Cole

kabuga said...


This is the real swahili rumba - for me.

The quality of this TZ is surprisingly quite good unlike others of the era.

Keep up John.

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