Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spokes Mashiyane - King of Kwela - Penny Whistle Jive from Johannesburg 1958-1959

"Born twenty-six years ago, at Vlakfontein, Northern Transvaal, Spokes' days were very similar to those of every country-born African. As a toddler, he spent his days tending his father's cattle, and to while away the long hours, he tried his hand at the primitive African reed flute. This soon became his constant companion and his prowess made him popular with his young friends. The time came when rural life began to pall and Spokes made for the " big city "-Johannesburg.
It was as a domestic servant that Spokes became wise to city ways, and one of his first acquisitions was a genuine " Penny Whistle "-costing 4s. 6d.! Still much of a novelty, Africans in various parts of the country were experimenting with this new musical toy, and Spokes immediately became a popular guest at parties because he was able to produce a " new sound."
The design of the South African penny whistle is the same as that throughout the world, but, by placing the mouthpiece vertically against the inside of his left cheek and by introducing an entirely new fingering system, he was able to produce a roundness of tone hitherto unknown with this limited musical instrument.
It was while playing at an impromptu street-corner musical session, that Spokes was spotted by African talent scout Strike Vilakazi. Vilakazi, who has been responsible for the discovery of numerous African musicians, rushed Spokes to the studio for a test recording.
Since those early days, Spokes and the penny whistle have grown in stature. Mashiyane is appearing on the world's hit parades with numbers like "Jika Spokes," "French Fried" and "The Boys from Jo'burg." A far cry from the days of cattle herding and the reed flute!
This long-player carries a varied selection of Spokes' work-showing clearly why Mashiyane with his versatile and highly individualistic approach, has been crowned"

"King Kwela."

from the notes of King Kwela via flatinternational

Spokes Mashiyane the man who found the inspiration for his tunes in his dreams
the true

King of Kwela

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Queen Oladunni Decency - African Mummy Juju

for today  an Ijebu Queen 
Oladunni 'Decency' Oduguwa or Mummy Juju to her fans
first female guitarist and Juju band leader
of  her Decency & Unity Orchestra at the high tide of juju in the early 70's 

died very young,only 28-but-she will be remembered as a queen .

queen's juju 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Princess Fatou Gayflor-the golden voice of Liberia

after the king is the turn of a princess to reappear
and there will be more kings and queens and princes from this blog  in the future
- in reality everyone is a king or a queen ,but you know that already....
here comes Liberia's brightest songbird lovely Princess Fatou  Gayflor
A singer and dancer from  young age, she performed often in community
contexts, including the ritual Moonlight Dance, in her home village of Kakata.
Later, as a member of Liberia’s National Cultural Troupe, which is   
was based in the national artists’ village of Kendeja, she was given the title
“Princess” in recognition of her exquisite renditions of songs in most
of the languages of Liberia’s sixteen  ethnic groups.
(She herself is of mixed Vai and Lorma ethnicities.)
As a young adult, she went out on her own,
founding the successful Daughters of King N’Jola dance and music ensemble
in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia.

in wiki

artist profile and interview in pdf

from 84 and studio 99

 a golden voice 

from the  happy prewar days of  Monrovia

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Elias diá Kimuezo,king of Angolan music

Elias Diá Kimuezo ou “Elias das barbas” pseudónimo atribuído enquanto jovem, pelo facto de ter usado uma enorme barba. Mas após o regresso dos “Manos Cambutas” que eram os guerrilheiros dos Maquis, Elias foi obrigado a cortá-la devido as várias perseguições dos portugueses, na era colonial.........
Na altura, o país passava por um momento conturbado (a luta pela independência nacional) que movimentava parte dos musseques de Luanda. E em bairros como o Rangel, Marçal, Sambizanga e Bairro Operário (BO) surgiram pequenos movimentos que faziam por preservar as músicas e tradições angolanas, marginalizadas pela dominação colonialista, na época.
Elias Diá Kimuezo fazia parte dos músicos nacionalistas que transmitiam esse tipo de mensagens na necessidade da conquista da independência. Pese embora as perseguições e represálias dos colonos.
Motivados pela luta da resistência, criaram um estilo musical, que de forma interventiva era passada em locais de reuniões e as músicas eram cantadas em línguas nacionais. A divulgação dos usos e costumes da linguagem e cultura angolana prevaleciam. Uma luta, sem armas nas mãos.

A frequência da zona do Bungo, em Luanda, área dominada por operários do Porto e dos Caminhos-de-Ferro que tocavam e dançavam o Kinganje foi outro factor de influência na vida de Elias, quando aos 15 anos desperta para a vocação artística.
“Sempre que pudesse, aos fim de semana ia assistir o Kinganje que era as serenatas dos “sulanos”, na zona do Samba kimúngua”, explicou.
E integrou-se na Turma do Margoso, como vocalista principal e tocador de bate-bate. Neste grupo faziam parte entre outros os profissionais Tony Cubanga, Paizinho, André eo Capetróleo.
Três anos depois fundou Os Makezos e anos mais tarde, muda-se para o agrupamento Os Kizombas, onde na altura, tocava nas farras do Salão Malanjinho, no Sambizanga.Aos 22 anos, Elias Diá Kimuezo integra-se no Grupo Ginásio e junta-se a quem viria a ser importantes nomes do nacionalismo e da política angolana: José Eduardo dos Santos, guitarrista, compositor, Pedro de Castro Van-Dúnem (Loy), Brito Sozinho, Mário Santiago, Faísca e Buanga. Os ensaios eram feitos em casa do Mário Santiago.
Logo depois, Elias juntase aos Dikindus formação musical de operários da fábrica Textang I, onde entre outros canta com os colegas Caissara e Citróleo.
Mas o rei lembra-se de uma das actividades musicais do grupo, no Maxinde, sem o seu consentimento foi substituído pelo primo de um dos integrantes do grupo.
“Eles não permitiram que eu subisse ao palco”, disse.....
source and more to read


Monday, October 22, 2012

Instrumental Music of the Kalahari San

San instrumental music is not generally performed before an audience with all the tension that isolation of the performer implies.
Instead the people play for themselves, when the mood strikes them. Others nearby may go on with what they are doing, stop and listen,or join in .

The instrumental music presented here, from both periods, is performed on traditional instruments-ones which rely on materials found in the natural environment-and on innovative instruments-ones which use materials, such as metal wire and cans, which can only be obtained through trade. The traditional
instruments include the hunting bow (a wooden bow and gut string), the pluriarc (a wooden, guitar-like body with 5 gut strings), and the te bow (a vertical wooden post and gut string). In its "modernized" form, the base of the pluriarc is made of an empty gallon oil can while the strings are changed from gut to hair from the tail of a giraffe . The hunting bow is transformed by a metal wire in place of the gut string, and in another form, it has a tin can as a resonator . Another instrument found only relatively recently among the !Kung (30 years at most) is the sitengena, or "tumb piano" (wooden base and metal keys) . Probably borrowed from neighboring peoples, it was one of the most highly favored and most often heard instruments among young people (1969-76).
the notes

 recordings by Nicholas England 1951-55 in Namibia
and  from 1969-1972 and Marjorie Shostak in Botswana

stop and listen or join in 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Augustine Enebeli Olisa-No Body Knows Tomorrow

Augustine Enebeli Olisa   proves to be  an all time favorite.
and with such a bright Nigerian highlife I can only  wish
that our tomorrow will be like this evergreen yesterday

nobody knows

if the above link does not work

try this

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ali el Khencheli-Chants des Aures

A Farewell to Rockrocky

Ali El Khencheli rend son dernier souffle à l’âge de 90 ans.
Le chanteur chaoui Ali El Khencheli, de son vrai nom Mahmoud Djallal, est décédé jeudi à l’âge de 90 ans. On ne peut évoquer la disparition de ce brillant aède des Aurès sans avoir aussi une pieuse pensée à l’endroit de cheikh Aïssa Djermouni El Harkati (1886-1946) son mentor, ainsi qu’à cheikh Bouregaâ (1903-1990) ou encore à la diva du bédouin Beggar Hadda (1920-1996), décédée, elle, dans la rue, mendiante et à moitié folle. Malgré une certaine marginalisation (qui est du reste toujours d’actualité), cette « bande des quatre » aura marqué d’une manière ineffable le XXe siècle en Algérie. Et dans ce tumulte de l’histoire, Ali El Khencheli reste, en dépit des circonstances, un nom gravé en lettres d’or pour la pérennité de cet art de tradition orale, un patrimoine musical millénaire.
Pour l’anecdote, durant de longues années, cheikh Bouregaâ (qui n’a eu de cesse de chanter et même de « tourner » jusqu’à 86 ans) racontait souvent cette « nuit de M’daourouche », une fête mémorable, un mariage légendaire célébré dans les années 1930 par Aïssa Djermouni, Ali El Khencheli et lui-même. Cette performance marquera, paraît-il, les trois « troubadours » leur vie durant. D’après les connaisseurs, la spécialité d’Ali El Khencheli était ce qu’on appelle le « Rockrocky », un genre très festif entre le profane et le sacré. On attribue souvent à Ali El Khencheli un sens inné de la fête, une voix puissante et un amour infini pour l’art. Alliant sa passion pour la musique à celle qu’il voue également à son métier « artistique » de coiffeur (qu’il exerce de 1935 à 1965), Ali El Khencheli tâte durant sa longue existence toutes sortes d’expériences. Il ne cesse aussi de chanter. Bien que très âgé, sa voix est restée presque intacte. On l’a même vu s’initier un jour au malouf à côté de cheikh Mohamed-Tahar Fergani, et ce, dans un istikhbar qui ferait pâlir nombre d’interprètes de cette musique citadine qu’on dit pourtant très codifiée. C’est dire l’étendue de la gamme d’Ali El Khencheli, qui fera ses débuts dès les années 1930 aux côtés de l’inénarrable Aïssa Djarmouni, la véritable figure de proue de ce qu’il convient de considérer comme un véritable mouvement culturel. D’ailleurs, nombre de chercheurs ou musiciens célèbres (à l’instar de leur illustre prédécesseur, le compositeur hongrois Bela Bartok) s’intéressent aujourd’hui encore à cette musique qui dégage, dit-on, un souffle de liberté qu’on ne retrouve désormais que dans le seul et unique jazz. Dieu merci, un certain nombre d’uvres auront été gravées pour l’éternité.

 Le dernier enregistrement concernant Ali El Khencheli remonte à 1999, une excellente production de l’Institut du monde arabe. Quant à son tout premier enregistrement, il date de 1949. Il s’agit en fait de son fameux tube, le sulfureux Kharjat men el hammam tsouj. Il y en aura d’autres : Ma lebestek men lahrir, Lali abar wa yessir, Kijina men Aïn Mlila, Ayache a Memmi, Ajbouni ramgat ghzali, Hezzi Ayounek Et puis, il y a aussi l’hommage au « souffle » indissociable de cette musique qui tire sa substance du vent : H’wa wa dhrar (le vent des montagnes) ou Bahri jebba (le vent du Nord). Parmi les fidèles musiciens qui ont accompagné Ali El Khencheli durant toutes ces longues années figure incontestablement « El gassab » Larbi Rezaïguia, un flûtiste de talent qui l’accompagna de 1947 à 1967. Il y a aussi d’autres excellents interprètes comme Slimane ou encore Sahraoui. En rendant son dernier souffle, le patriarche Ali El Khencheli laisse 11 enfants et plus d’une centaine de petits-enfants. Espérons que la relève sera là !

last recordings of  the legendary bard Ali El Khencheli.
hard and beautiful as the Aurès Mountains

Chants des Aures

Friday, October 12, 2012

Badenya- Manden Jaliya in New York City

Badenya is all about the new meaning of traditional West African music in the context of modern New York City. Badenya is a Malinke word referring to the bond between mother and child, but it also encompasses a more general sense of community and tradition. In this way it conveys many meanings. During the '70s a West African community began to coalesce in New York City, drawing its members from Mali, Senegal, Guinea, and other countries. These people kept their jaliya traditions, but in the New World context they also assimilated other approaches to sound. What resulted is a brilliant fusion, documented here on a recording by master players still deeply immersed in their heritage.

What stands out most dramatically on this recording is the near-total lack of drums. Instead, the group relies on the kora and bala to weave together a net-like foundation. With this approach, rhythm becomes inextricably bound to harmony. While the harmonies might not be particularly sophisticated from a jazz perspective, they convey a crystalline beauty in their straightforward simplicity. And rather than following the extended forms common to traditional West African music, the group mostly simplifies matters to the 4/4 time signature found in most Western music. Rather than featuring instrumental solos, the music focuses on group cohesion and the sort of interplay that seasoned masters evoke through subtlety and an experienced ear.

In every case, the vocals shine-they are, in fact, the point of the music. While the language will without exception be unintelligible to English speakers, the phrasing, lyricism, and spirit speak volumes. Kindly enough, the folks at Smithsonian Folkways have supplied both African and English lyrics. On "Nanfulen," for example, the point is crystal clear: "Your ancestors have sacrificed for you / so that good things will come to you."In the end, Badenya is true to its name. It's a musical statement which blends new and old traditions, aimimg for a spirit of celebration and enlightenment-and it never overstates itself. Like any deep spiritual music, it's best appreciated when you surrender your preconceptions in order to listen at a deeper level. If you can do that, this is as deep as it gets.

Nils Jacobson wrote

a passionate

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sory Kandia Kouyaté


Il nait à Manta, dans le petit village de Bodiel, à Dalaba, à 400km de Conakry.

 Il perd sa mère à deux ans et en demeurera profondement marqué.
 Il composera une sublime chanson intitulée "Nna", ma mère en malinké, en son honneur.
Descendant de l'ancetre des griots "Balla Fassèkè Kouyaté", grand griot et conseillé attitré de Soundiata Keita, il est très tot initié à l'art de la famille par son père Djely Mady Kouyaté qui lui apprend à jouer du koni. Plus tard, il excelle à la cour royale de Mamou, puis se retrouve à Conakry en 1949 ou il se fait connaitre ...
Lors d'un concert à Conakry, son micro lache, alors il le pose et entamme son chant ... il envelloppe l'auditoire et emerveille !
Ensuite tout s'enchaine : kankan, siguiri, Dakar, paris (1956 ou il entre en studio chez Vogue ...), UK, l'Allemagne, Belgique, URSS, Chine, US, Autriche, Afrique de l'ouest, Tanzanie, Sicile, Algérie, Tunisie ... bref il fera le tour du monde dans sa carrière !
Directeur du ballet national Djoliba dès 1964, il gagnera un nombre incalculable de prix et disques d'or !
Il meurt jeune à tout juste 44 ans, après une riche carrière et des succès mondiaux ...
Il ne chantait que l'amour, la solidarité, le travail, bref toutes ces richesses de coeur qui font d'un groupe d'homme une nation.
Il demeure l'artiste par référence de la musique post coloniale d'Afrique de l'ouest, un patrimoine mondial !

Monday, October 8, 2012

'Gege' Monja Mahafay

A  healer marovany player

'Gege' Monja Mahafay was born in 1970 in Ambovobe ,Androy. His  mother has passed on her gifts as a musician and healer,
she has always brought him with her to the sessions for 'tromba (divinations, patient treatments, exorcisms).
the songs are about  sacred spirits that fully participate in every event in the social life of Madagascar.
Gege Monja started  traveling outside Androy to the rest of the country and  plays his marovany  since 1998.
he is currently one of the most in demand, marovary players in Antananarivo.

Some of the most spectacular  music of the island/continent of Madagascar come
from the Antantroy people and  marovany player Monja,surely a name to remember, is no exception .
when I first heard Monja's marovany-the instrument that speaks to the spirits-I wondered naively maybe,why he is not world famous, like other African virtuosos ,the comparison with Toumany Diabate was inevitable,but then I thought that Monja must feel complete and glad
practicing his   healing sessions and any fame,apart from been temporary, doesn't guarantee happiness,experience says rather  the contrary in most cases.
but even so he is still able to transmit with digital means some of his healing power and beauty to us.

one of my musical heroes and a...


check also  the other  side of Monja with the Manintsindava Band  equally adventurous and very  uplifting  :

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Faidati Mognehazi & Debaa shama


qasidah written by the Sufi sage
Abdullah bin ‘Alwi Al-Haddad (1634 - 1720)
interpreted by Faidati  Mognehazi with  Debaa shama
in Hamjago/Mtsamboro/Mahoré (Mayotte)
nostalgie d'un amour

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba-Música Yoruba

Música Yoruba is an outstanding recording of traditional  Afro-Cuban  music.
It holds the double distinction of being one of the best produced records of it's genre,  as well as featuring performances by one of the largest assemblage of Cuban folkloric masters ever.
 It is both as an incredible aesthetic experience and   documentation of a time that has passed into history. the recordings consists entirely of Lucumí songs for the orishas, accompanied by batá drums.Recorded in the early 1970s, this recording has captured a period when many of the Conjunto's founding elders were still in residence.

Lazaro RosAkpons (lead singers)
Lázaro Ros 
Cuba's most famous akpón is Lázaro Ros, founding member of the Conjunto. From early childhood, his talent set him on the path to becoming one of the great interpreters of the Lucumí language as used in Afro-Cuban rituals. Studying with Eugenio de la Rosa and other masters, he perfected his singing technique and has become a nationally recognized virtuoso. His long career has included work in theater and films and many recordings. Always an innovator, Lázaro's ground-breaking fusion efforts with Síntesis and Mezcla combine orisha songs with modern rhythms and orchestrations. These days the master lives simply in Guanabacoa where he devotes his time to singing in ceremonies and to developing his current group,Olorún, which includes many younger performers, thus fulfilling his desire to pass his knowledge on to the next generation.
Felipe Alfonso Perez
Felipe Alfonso Pérez 
Felipe Alfonso, a founding member of the Conjunto, had a legendary style of singing. Felipe's technique included a playful approach to timing that was unparalleled. Playfulness characterized many aspects of his life. This recordingis probably the best documented example of this master's outstanding skills.Tragically, Felipe Alfonso died in November 1991 at the age of 43.
Zenaida ArmenterosZenaida Armenteros 
A founding member of the Conjunto, Zenaida Armenteros is still with the group.Until recently she was the primary dancer of the orisha Oyá in theConjunto. Zenaida's singing career spans more than 40 years. She started out by taking part in a singing competition on radio station Cadena Azul. One ofher early teachers was Obdulio Morales, an innovator who introduced the horn section to the popular music known as Son (or Salsa outside of Cuba).Zenaida has sung in the most prestigious clubs in Havana, such as the Tropicana,and appeared as a singer in two films,Yambao and Mulata.Música Yoruba captures the marvelous quality of this incredible singer's voice.
Carlos Aldamathe drummers
Carlos Aldama (Iya Bata) 
Carlos Aldama, a founding member of the Conjunto Folklórico, left the group in 1991. He studied batá under Jesus Pérez when that master was in residence at the Conjunto. Carlos has also worked with Alex Valdez,director of the Karl Marx Theatre in Havana. Other credits include recording with Adalberto Alvarez y su Son and more recently, a project involving both Lázaro Ros and the piano virtuoso Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He is currently lead drummer for Lázaro Ros' Olorún, and plays with Sergio Vittier.
Mario JuareguiMario Jáuregui (Itotele Bata) 
Another founding member, Mario Jáuregui studied batá with themaster Pablo Roche at the age of nine. He also played at the Tropicana nightclub with Jesús Pérez. Mario played on the very first record of folkloric guaguanco, Guaguanco Afro-cubano(Grupo Folklórico deAlberto Zayas). Mario also played with Sergio Vittier. In addition to his drumming skills, Mario is an extraordinary rumba dancer, a talent he demonstrated in many Conjunto performances.
Ramiro Hernández (Okonkolo Bata)
Originally from Matanzas, Ramiro lives in Jata near Guanabacoa. He is still in the Conjunto today and is among the new group of elders who have had the "baton"passed to them. Ramiro played with batá masters Jesus Pérez and"Trinidad" Torregrosa."

the orishas  must have been very happy that day

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Prince Twins Seven-Seven

Prince Twins Seven-Seven changed his birth name, Olaniyi Osuntoki, to signal his status as the sole surviving child of his parents’ seven sets of twins. “They believed that I was the reincarnation of twins they had lost,” .
“Prince” was more than a flourish. His grandfather was king of Ibadan in the 1890s and, until the artist became seriously ill, he was about to be installed as chief of his clan, the Osuntoki.
A dancer and singer, Prince Twins Seven-Seven found his calling as an artist in the 1960s when he became part of an experimental school in the city of Oshogbo run by Ulli Beier.

He began drawing in pen and ink on paper, but soon began using ink and paint on large sheets of laminated plywood. His subject matter was Yoruban myths, many of them recited to him by his mother, but others absorbed through the novels of Amos Tutuola and Daniel O. Fagunwa. In a consciously naïve style, he depicted village scenes, animals and deities, especially the goddess Oshun, filling in outlines and borders with jewel-colored patterns based on traditional textiles.
Taiwo Olaniyi Osuntoki Oyewale was born on May 3, 1944, in the village of Ijara. As a young man, he danced with a traveling medicine show that sold Superman Tonic.
In 1964 he crashed a party at the Oshogbo art school and soon became integrated into its group of artists. After an exhibition of his work was mounted in Oshogbo, he moved to Lagos and later to London. His work was included in the 1989 exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” (“Magicians of the Earth”) at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
 He later formed a band, for which he was the lead singer and occasional drummer, and which recorded a number of hit records; he continued to perform and record throughout his life. Like his artwork, his music was rooted in folk tradition.

infos from here and  here

and now these magic paintings are coming alive in sounds:
Twins Seven Seven's Black Ghosts International  sing and play for  Oshun 
the 2 sides separately (as in the original post in 0Earth)

Oshun part1

Oshun part 2

nuevo enlace

Monday, October 1, 2012

Les Shleu Shleu - Haiti Terre de Soleil

When Compas Direct the band of Nemours Jean Baptiste was in his prime time,
many young men were copying the work of the famous musicians especially the Accordionist Richard Duroseau and the the guitarist Raymond Gaspard. 
Among the followers was a young man living in the neighborhood of Mornes Nelliot by the name of Serge Rosenthal. Serge played the accordion and the guitar trying his best to be the next Richard or the new Raymond.With his friend the drummer Smith Jean Baptiste and other guitarists like Jacques Fabre,Camille Philippe and Kiki Bayard a little neighborhood band was created....
they called themselves LES MANFOUBENS.
Dada Djacaman an Arab-Haitian man with much better financial situation decided to take the dream of the youngsters to another level and on December 22,1965 the band with the addition of some new members was baptized as LES SHLEU SHLEU de Dada Djacaman......showing that the band is the property of the investor.
Contrary to the bands of Nemours and Sicot and the other bands of the time playing with a full horn section, the new band had a reduce format with only one saxophone played by Tony Moise....and there you have it: the first MINI JAZZ was created with J.C pierre Charles (Peddy) and Hans Cherubin (Gro Bébé) on lead vocal.
The band captured the attention of the new generation and before long they were the kings of the airwaves with songs like Alfredo- Pèche A La Ligne-Maille -Devinez -Café Au Lait among others. By the end of the decade the country was floated with Mini Jazz bands from almost every neighborhood copycatting the work of Shleu Shleu. But Shleu Shleu continued to be like a real king among the others and they carry themselves as such too. They continued to write hit songs like Moune Damou- 7 Jours Se La Semaine-Ceremonie Loa and some nice slow songs like Grille Ta Cigarette and Minuit Sonnen....

Les Shleu Shleu

Terre de Soleil