Here is Nzara (Kudzanayi BL 459), a 1983 release that showcases Tuku at the peak of his powers, his soulful voice soaring above inspired arrangements and a variety of styles. Enjoy!
Some years ago Sterns/Earthworks released a CD entitled Roots Rock Guitar Party. I remember thinking at the time: how can you assemble a collection of Zimbabwe's greatest guitarists and not include Leonard Dembo?
I would presume that the only reason Dembo was omitted from this otherwise excellent compilation was a matter of licencing. In the early '90s, he had risen to the pinnacle of the Zimbabwean music scene, only to die prematurely of AIDS in April 1996.
Dembo was born as Kwangwari Gwaindepi in 1959 and gained notice in 1982 as a member of a band called The Outsiders. Disagreements with his band-mates followed, and in 1985 he established Barura Express, which quickly notched a series of hits, notably the 1991 smash "Chitekete," about a young man who wishes to marry a beautiful lady. It is one of the biggest-selling Zimbabwean records of all time and is played at weddings to this day.
The Barura Express cassette The Singles Collection Vol. 2 (Gramma ZC 108) is a singular example of modern African guitar music, notably the opening tune "Zii-Zii," a song about a lover who is far away, whose repetitive motifs evoke a feeling of restrained euphoria:
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Zii-Zii
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Dudzai
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Kodzero
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Kukura Hakutane
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Gire
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Sheri Unodada
Leonard Dembo & Barura Express - Ndipeiwo Pokupotera