Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Couple More Rochereaus



As promised in an earlier post, here are Volumes 5 and 6 of the series Rochereau Vols. 1-8, released by Disco Stock in Abidjan in 1982. The first four, Rochereau à Abidjan, did not get a lot of circulation outside of West Africa, but the last four were licensed by the African Record Centre in Brooklyn.

Congo's great Tabu Ley, nicknamed "Rochereau," is showcased to great effect in these wonderful albums. The no-frills production brings the voices to the fore while leaving plenty of room for the (uncredited!) backup musicians to display their chops. And some of the most-loved songs in Tabu Ley's repertoire - "On a Raconte," "Mazé" and "Sorozo" - are included.

On listening to these recordings, it struck me that the rhythm guitar ostinato on "On a Raconté," probably recorded in '81 or ''82, sounded awfully familiar. Compare it to 1985's "Haleluya" by Orchestra Simba Wanyika from Tanzania/Kenya. Was the later recording inspired by the first? Or is this a case of parallel evolution? The rhythm guitarist on "Haleluya" is probably George Peter Kinyonga, but who plays on "On a Raconté?" The liner notes give us no clue. Can someone out there enlighten us?

First up, here is Rochereau Vol. 5: Jalousie Mal Placée (Star Musique SMP 6005):

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - Jalousie Mal Placée

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - On a Raconté

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - Mela

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - Maika

Go here to download Jalousie Mal Placée as a zipped file.


And here is Rochereau Vol. 6: Mazé (Star Musique SMP 6006):

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - Mazé

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - M. Malonga

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - N'Gawali

Tabu Ley Rochereau & l'Afrisa International - Sorozo

Download Mazé as a zipped file here.

5 comments:

CC said...

Nice one, John! Referencing “Voice of Lightness” liner notes, guitar credited to Dino Vangu throughout 1977-81, and on “Monsieur Malongo” as cited on the Abidjan album here .

John B. said...

Thanks, CC. I guessed it was Dino Vangu, but I wasn't sure.

maceo papyrus said...


John,
Thanks for this Tabu Ley jem.
I wonder if you have any pre
Nigerian civil war, secular
recordings of Erasmus Jenewari.
If you do, please post them.

Thanks in advance.

John B. said...

Maceo: Unfortunately I don't have any of Jenewari's non-gospel recordings.

poltroon said...

i only had a brief conversation with Tabu Ley, and we talked about African Jazz, but now I wonder if Monsieur Malonga is Malonga Casquelourd who was a musician and dancer and a very charismatic figure on the scene