Bracket 1.3.5Franco & le T.P. O.K. Jazz - Liberté
(DR Congo, 1976)
Geoffrey Oryema - Lapwony (Uganda, 1993)
Two great songs. The Oryema song is amazing, great vocals and a beautiful story behind. Taken from You Tube: Lapwony means "teacher". The story is about a school teacher, whose body was found lying in a school compound. He was struck by lightning and died on the spot, just as he was getting ready to head home. He had a pile of exercise books which he was suppose to correct at home. As a tribute to their beloved teacher, the pupils composed a song that they entitled "Lapwony."
But my vote goes to Franco, the "Soccerer of Guitar", one of these pivotal names that ignited a whole music scene (along with Grand Kallé) and the creator of a fluid guitar style (along with Docteur Nico that you will find on the last bracket) that was going to define Congolese music. Some may say African music in general.
Kenyan Boys Choir - Homeless (Kenya, 2009)Sam Mangwana & Orchestre Festival des Maquisards - Festival Bilombe
(DR Congo, 1968-1969)
Beautiful Paul Simon cover performed by the Kenyan Boys Choir but it adds little to the original performed by Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The Mangwana song is a fresh sample of Congolese rumba, closer to its Cuban roots than any other song on this week (and almost all of them show some degree of Cuban influence).
Bracket 1.3.7Mulatu Astatke - Yègellé Tezeta
Birigwa - Yelewa (Uganda, 1972)
The fact that there is already a song by Mulatu on the next round could prevent some people for voting for "Yègellé Tezeta". And moreover when his rival is as remarkable as Birigwa (described on Porter Records page as afro-folk-jazz-blues-psych). Probably Charlie Driggs chose the most weird song on the album (you can check also the delicious "Obugumba" from the same album on Spotify or on the Porter Records
link), still my vote goes to Mulatu Astatke.
Kasai Allstars - Mpombo Yetu (DR Congo, 2008)Docteur Nico & Orchestre African Fiesta - Mamu Wa Mpoy
(DR Congo, 1963-1965)
Terrific bracket, really. The Kasai Allstars song, coming from the third volume of the Congotronic Series, is hypnotic and showcases the modernity in tradition, the link between repetitive traditional music and modern electronica. But the Docteur Nico tune is gorgeous and it showcases his impressive finger-picked guitar playing. Franco was first but I got my doubts about who was better. Can I chose both?