Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lita Bembo's European albums

Singer Lita Bembo led up one of my very favorite bands, Orchestre Stukas. The Stukas made one album that I know of without Lita Bembo, BALLADE A LIBREVILLE.
In the mid 1980s, Lita Bembo made at least two solo albums in Europe on which he was backed by musicians other than the Stukas.

One of these albums, CONFLIT, was cut in Brussels and it is a pretty good record. Lita Bembo, as a singer, and his music are both very true to the music for which he was beloved in the former Zaire. The other musicians on the album are only listed as being other scandalously unnamed Zaireans from Brussels assisted by named Belgians. The keyboards on this album are replaced by a synthesizer and it is brought farther into the foreground than we would have heard keyboards with the Stukas. Played by Roland Dechamps, the synth carries some wild and wonderful riffs that I believe were intended to reflect the original Stukas sound.
Listen to this album here:
The other European album, NOUVEAU RYTHME SACCADE, is touted on the sleeved as being "La Renaissance D'Une Legende", but it is a much less successful album.
This recording is almost as weird and out of character for Lita Bembo as the oufit he sports on the sleeve. The record has it's moments and Lita Bembo still belts it out with all the enthusiasm and style we know him for, but the compositions fall somewhere between the soukous and disco genres. Judge for yourself:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ambiance Congo for Sunday November 23, 2008

This edition, we paid special tribute to the late Pepe Kalle, marking November 29 as 10 years since his passing. We also heard a variety of other great Congolese music.

Here are some covers of the albums and CDs we heard this time around.
Did you miss the program? For the next two weeks, you may download a copy here.
After that, find it in the Ambiance Congo Audio Archives.
Here is the track list:
1) King Kester Emeneya
sebene from DORIS ILOKO (this program's theme song)
from the CD PAS DE CONTACT
Black Music
2)Pepe Kalle & Orchestre Empire Bakuba Du Zaire
ZANGANO
from the LP KWASA KWASA
Leader Records
3)Empire Bakuba
NTOYA
from the CD SANGO YA MAWA
Ngoyarto
4)Orchestre Kiam *
NINA
from the LP EDITIONS VEVE 1974-75
African
5)Theo Blaise Kounkou
NADIA SOLEIL *
from the CD LES PLUS GRANDS SUCCES DE THO BLAISE VOL.2
Ets. TBK Likembe / Sonodisc
6)Tiers Monde
FAUX PROBLEMES
from the CD COOPERATION
Ngoyarto
7)Le Poete Lutumba Simaro
YUNA
from the CD SALLE D'ATTENTE
Production Gabin Tembo
8)Koffi Olomide
ETERNELLEMENT
from the CD FORCE DE FRAPPE
Sonodisc
9)J.D.T. Molopwe
MOLEKI NZELA
from the CD MOLEKI NZELA
Production DRTV
10)Dilu Dilumona & Empire Bakuba A Paris
NIZI
from the LP NIZI
K-Dance Productions
11)Bozi Boziana & L'Anti-Choc
JOEL PHOTO
from the CD BA BOKILO
Glenn Music
12)Serge Mabiala
AMOUR FIDELE
from the CD AFFECTION
Mobola Senzedi
13)Pascal Poba
INACHEVE
from the CD REFLEXION
Ets. N'Diaye
14) Pepe Kalle Et L'Orchestre Empire Bakuba Du Zaire
BITOTO *
from the LP BONANA 85
Alia Music
*=by request

Sunday, November 16, 2008

JB MPIANA & WENGE MUSICA deliver in DC!

Here are a few snapshots. If you missed it, blame only yourself!


They will be in Dallas November 29.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

JB MPIANA in DC tomorrow night!


I hope to see you there!
Thanks to Mr. Abraham Luakabuanga, people who can show that they are coming from far away, those of us who cannot buy advance tickets, may buy at the advance price at the door.

DC people, buy your advance tickets here:
1.SIMBA MUSIC 1333 Holton Lane Takoma Park, Md, 20912 301-445-1670

2.Mitchell Communication 12337-D Georgia Ave Silver Spring, Md ,20906

Monday, November 10, 2008

AMBIANCE CONGO for Sunday November 9, 2008

Welcome once again to Ambiance Congo. This program features two hours of Congolese music, aired every other week.
This edition, we heard again a combination of various styles from 2008 and from the decades before.

Here a few of the albums we sampled:


Did you miss the program? Please download a copy here and leave your
comments. I'd love to take your requests and to hear your thoughts.
Here is the tracklist for today's program.
1) King Kester Emeneya
sebene from DORIS ILOKO (this program's theme song)
from the CD PAS DE CONTACT
Black Music
2) Titina Alcapone
LE BOURGEOIS
from the CD AFFAIRE A SUIVRE
Sound Africa

3)Rento Vena & Terra Isa Mera
LIBALA
from the CD ARAFAT
Signore Production / Sonima Music

4)Kekele
YO ODECONER feat. M'Bilia Bel *
from the CD KINAVANA
Stern's Africa

5)Serge Mabiala
DEVOIR
from the CD AFFECTION
Mobola Senzedi Production

6)Malage De Lugendo
CAUCHEMAR
from the CD SMS
Ebherliss Records

7)Simaro
VACCINATION
from the CD VIVEMENT SIMARO MERCI L'ARTISTE *
Diego Music

8)Franco & Le T.P. O.K. Jazz
TAMBOU LUNTADILA
from the LP A 0 HEURE CHEZ 1-2-3
Edipop

9)Les Bantous De La Capitale
NA NDIMI KURUZE
from the LP MUSIC-PRESS PRESENTE LES BANTOUS DE LA CAPITALE
Music-Press

10)Bombenga Wewando & Groupe Vox Africa Du Zaire
NAOMBA RAZI
from the LP L' AGE D' OR
Kagi Productions

11)Zizi Nzanga
OKEYI TE MAYO
from the CD LENGELA CONGO
Production Solfege International

12)Gina Efonge & Libanko
LIBANGO MARINGA
from the CD BEST OF GINA EFONGE
Esselta

13)Cartouche
MOBEMBO
from the LP LE PROPHETE CARTOUCHE DE VICTORIA ELEISON
Disques Esperance

14)Choc Stars
SAISON SECHE *
from the CD PECHE DE LA FEMME
Bono-Music

15)Bluff Wabalonzo & Viva La Musica
GENE
from the LP FILLE UNIQUE
Production Bluff Wabalonzo

16)JB M'Piana & Wenge BCBG
excerpt from QUEL EST TON PROBLEME?
from the CD QUEL EST TON PROBLEME?
Ets. N'Diaye

*=by request

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Ya Pergaud"

Here are a couple of albums by a singer I know next to nothing about. Verckys thought enough of him to record these albums at his Studio Veve and to accompany the band on saxophone.


Who is "Ya Pergaud" Jean Sylvain Goma? The liner notes on these albums refer to the accompanying musicians as being from "le groupe vocal Anges Noirs", but that's not much help. The only Anges Noirs that I know about was a nightclub in Brussels where Congolese artists performed at about the time of Independance in 1960.
So why did Verckys invest in this band? Listen to the songs and judge for yourself. There's a lot of good music here, music you'll be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
I find these recordings to be impressive in that they refer back to Franco's OK Jazz and yet fit right in with the times in which they were recorded. There is also a flavor contemporary with the generation Choc Stars and Zaiko Langa Langa.
Interesting albums. Please leave your comments. I'd like to know more about the band and about "Ya Pergaud" as well.
Listen to the albums here:
This link has been updated to include both albums.