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We are here to restore the recorded legacy of Franco Luambo Makiadi and TPOK Jazz, the greatest band to ever exist.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chez Safari Club De Bruxelles (1984) Edipop Pop 026

This is a gem of an album from 1984. Unlike most albums from this period there are no typical 1980's sound effects on it like chorused guitars or drum machines. It's pure TPOK Jazz at their best.

The standout track on the album is 'Mbanzi ya Kamundele', a beautiful song by Lutumba Simaro. All the songs are great though and none are currently available as mp3 downloads or on CD.

This album was never released on CD, three of the tracks were released on the Sonodisc CD 8490. The track Amour Perdu appears never to have been released outside of this LP release.

Side A

Mbanzi Ya Kamundele (Lutumba Simaro)

Okundji (Lunama)

Side B

Serment (Kikam)

Amour Perdu (Makabi)

So here is the album for your enjoyment

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Le Quart De Siecle Volume 5 (1981) Edipop 06

This album is a bit of an oddity. It is volume 5 of Le Quart De Siecle which we posted earlier, however this is not generally considered to go with the other four volumes because it was recorded at a different time.

The album also seems to have been released in two different versions. One features the ultra-rare song 'Honda' in place of 'Ngaliene'. Ngaliene appeared on the Sonodisc CD 8489 (titled '1980-1981') along with the other tracks 'Coupe Du Monde', 'Fabrice' and 'Wallo'. 'Honda' has never been released on CD and it appears it was only released on the rare version of Le Quart De Siecle Vol. 5.

So now this rare Josky composition is available for all along with the other tracks by following this link.

There are some other things of note about this copy of the album. The track 'Fabrice' is much longer than the version released on CD, it also fades out at one point only to start abruptly again.

The album sequence was also incorrectly titled

On the album cover and label the track listing is

Side A

Coupe Du Monde


Side B



The actual sequence of tracks on the LP is as follows

Side A

Coupe Du Monde (Ndombe Opetum)

Honda (Josky)

Side B

Fabrice (Franco)

Wallo (Ntesa Dalienst)

We've also included the track Ngaliene to cover both versions of the LP release.

Apologies for the bad photo reproduction of the LP cover

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mamie Zou (1987)

'Le Grand Maitre Franco Avec Ntesa Dalienst et le T.P.O.K. Jazz' (ASM 002)

Here is an album from 1987 which features one of our favourite singers and composers Ntesa Dalienst. Ntesa sadly died in 1996 from a brain tumour. He composed some wonderful songs including 'Bina Na Ngai Na Respect'. His songs on this album are also wonderful.

This is one of those albums that was never issued on CD, three of the tracks were issued on separate CD's and track 2 'Batandeli Ngai Mitambo' has never been released on CD, mp3 or another format than this LP. This is a scandal because it is perhaps the best track on the LP with wonderful guitar interplay. We think this is one of the greatest songs created in the last years of Franco's life. The guitar work on all the tracks is superb.

There are a few skips on the track 'Mamie Zou' which couldn't be helped. A version without skips is on youtube here

Side 1


Side 2



Friday, February 5, 2010

Live recording on the Afro European Tour

Here is one of the most infamous albums ever released by Franco et TPOK Jazz. Its infamy doesn't lie in the musical content, which is excellent, but in the so called 'live' nature of the recording. These are in fact studio recordings that have badly overdubbed fake audience sounds on them. Quite why this was done we don't know, but it ruins an otherwise brilliant record. If you can get used to the applause the album reaps many rewards.

Several of these tracks were released without the overdubbed applause on the album 'Volume 3' aka 'Mbongo' released in 1977. We recently acquired a copy of this LP and will post it soon.

In the meantime here's the link to the 'live' album provided at the French language blog bolingo.

Side 1

1 Oh! Miguel (Franco)
2. Sala Lokola Luntadila (Lola)
3 Malou-O Bijou (Mpudi)

Side 2

1. Bomba, Bomba, Mabe (Franco)
2. Na Vanda Bombanda (Dialungana)
3. Libala Ya Bana Na Bana (Lola)

Side 3

1. Lisolo Ya Adamu Na Nzambe (Ntessa)
2 Mama Na Bebe (Wuta-Mayi)
3 Meta Mama Na Bana (Kasongo)

Side 4

1. Mbongo (Lutumba Simaro)
2 Amour Viole (Josky Kiambukuta)
3 Lotambe (Wuta-Mayi)

Sonodisc once again butchered a TPOK Jazz album when they released this on CD.
You can download 9 of the 12 tracks as digital mp3's on iTunes from the Sonodisc CD 'Bomba, Bomba, Mabe.' The other 3 tracks comprising Side 3 of the LP were never re-issued on CD.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Article about Franco in the Journal of Music

We are delighted to announce that the main moderator for this blog, Kasongo Musanga, has just had an article about Franco and Congolese music published in the excellent 'Journal of Music'.

The 'Journal of Music' is a wide ranging publication produced in Ireland which discusses music in a healthy, intelligent way. It is wonderful that Franco and TPOK Jazz's legacy has been featured in this publication.

You can view the opening of the article here,

The whole of the article may be accessed by subscribing to the magazine or ordering a copy of the latest issue.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Franco Presente Le Prince Youlou et le T.P.O.K. Jazz

Here's a link to a great album we've been listening to lately, Franco Presente Le Prince Youlou et le T.P.O.K. Jazz from 1981.

This album is one of series of releases which showcase the talents of OK Jazz members. Here we get the sweet high voice of Youlou Mabiala singing with TPOK Jazz in full flight. We're not sure who wrote the songs but we presume they're all by Youlou. Please correct us if we're wrong!

Thanks to our friends at globalgroovers for the link and for their great blog.

Side 1


Side 2