Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Syran M'Benza Part 3: Sessions

This post is Part 3 of a four part series, a celebration of the career of guitarist Syran M'Benza
upon release of his new CD Immortal Franco: Africa's Unrivalled Guitar Legend !

Parts 1 & 2 of this series are below and on the previous page. If you have not seen them already, I recommend that you start there!

Syran M'Benza Part 3: Sessions
Compilation 3: https://rcpt.yousendit.com/718315930/f72174404f92521ca9be2291717d8d25
This compilation contains one song from each of the albums pictured below.

As one of the best and most respected Congolese guitarists residing outside of RDC, Syran M'Benza was sought out and contributed to the albums and songs of many others. His work can be found on the recordings of artists from RDC, Congo, Central African Republic and more.
In this post, you'll hear his guitar on a number of LPs and a couple of CDs made by a few of the artists with whom Syran worked often, if not regularly, throughout his career.

Singer Wuta Mayanda - also known as Wuta Mayi - appears on Syran M'Benza's new CD, singing some of the best songs on the album. He is also, like Syran, a member of the band Kekele.In the 1970s Wuta Mayi sang in the group Continental, a group that also included guitarists Bopol Mansiamina and Papa Noel. He spent eight years during the 1970s and early 1980s as singer in Franco's T.P. OK Jazz, joining Syran M'Benza in Paris to form Les 4 Etoiles in 1982. He made a few solo solo albums with guitarist Syran M'Benza and other albums, of course, including a few more with guitarist Dino Vangu.
In this compilation, you hear Syran play on songs from these albums of Wuta Mayi, the first two recorded on Eddy Gustave's label.

Two guitarists with whom Syran M'Benza recorded on a more or less steady basis are Pablo Lubadika "Porthos" and Bopol Mansiamina.
Bopol, like Syran and Wuta Mayi, was one of Les 4 Etoiles and has a long history as an innovative composer and arranger. His work with Orchestre Mode Succes on the Innovation label in the 80s is still sought after today. His recent arrangements can be heard on albums by, among others, Sam Tshintu and Congolese-born American singer Ricardo Lemvo. He has also collaborated with a number of Colombian "champeta" artists in recent years.In this compilation, we hear songs from these albums which feature Syran M'Benza on lead guitar. The Bopol Mansimina & Syran Mbenza album is, I have long suspected, a live recording, possibly recorded in Paris or maybe in the French Antilles.

Syran has a longer history with Pablo Lubadika, working with him in Orchestre Kara in Kinshasa before moving to West Africa to join Sam Mangwana's African All Stars, and working with him often in Europe after that. Lubadika, like Bopol, has made many solo albums and, like Syran, has contributed innumerable others.
In this compilation, you may hear a couple of great songs that feature Syran M'Benza from a couple of what I think are among his best albums. Like Syran's wonderful Eliza Dangwa LP, Idie is on Richard Dick's Africamania label. The other, like a number of 4 Stars albums, is a Syllart production.

nother singer who has woked and collaborated with Syran M'Benza is Passi-Jo. If you have visited the previous posts in this series, you will have heard him sing and seen his name before. The first song of his in this edition is from yet another great Eddy Gustave production featuring the guitar of Syran M'Benza.

Next (and last) post in this series:
More sessions. You'll hear some real rarities!

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