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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.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Digital OK Jazz

Well we don't know whether to rejoice or to be annoyed. We have just discovered that Tamasha Corporation have digitally released many Franco and Ok Jazz records. They have in a lot of cases released albums in their original track order, but in other instances have done the same thing that Sonodisc did, by pairing bits from different albums together.

Here is one example

'Anjela' was originally just a two track album. Tamasha Corporation have released it with two extra tracks, unfortunately they are not long lost out-takes but just two tracks from another album 'Mamie Zou', which is incidentally available if you search for Ntesa Dalienst on iTunes.

So there are pluses to this, the tracks seem to be free from the skips and clicks that are on some of our vinyls and we have found some tracks that we have not heard before, like Malunzi found on this album

We had to be careful to check this was a real OK Jazz track because we are sure the track before it 'Afrique Aux Africains' is not. Also be careful if you see a track with a name you don't recognise, it is probably because it is wrongly titled. Like Amour Retreouve which you can see here is actually the same as Amour Viole from the Live Afro-European Tour album. This one doesn't have any fake audience noise though which is good.

There are a lot of releases there now but it has been poorly catalogued, often with no reference to OK Jazz or even Franco! If you look up Youlou Mabiala you will find the Franco Presente albums. The cover art is also very poor in most cases, we don't know why a big record company like Tamasha couldn't reproduce the original labels.

Anyway, it is better than the music not being available and I'm sure many of you will be happy to find these tracks available digitally now. The full 20 minute version of Tres Fache is there, which is good.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Owawa/Camp Luka - Fiesta 51.042 (1970)

This 45 is quite rare. Neither 'Owawa' or 'Camp Luka' appears to have been released on CD or LP.
Both are Franco compositions. 'Camp Luka' is a funky rumba with two sections, the first has some speaking, the early version of rapping maybe?

'Owawa' is in a beautiful and more traditional Congolese style called a 'Polka-Piket.' It has an interesting spoken introduction.

It is also labelled Editions Populaires No.17

Side A

Owawa (Franco)

Side B

Camp Luka (Franco)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FNMA Congo/Naboyi Libala Na Noko PF 11 549

This is a rare 45" of two Franco compositions. FNMA Congo was not released on any other LP or CD as far as we can tell. Naboyi Libala Na Noko was released on the Sonodisc CD 36554, 'Franco, Vicky et L'OK Jazz 1966/1967' in 1996.
The single is credited to Orchestre O.K. Jazz. 
There is no date on the label,we can presume 
it was released in 1966 or 1967.

Side A

F.N.M.A. Congo (Franco)

Side B

Naboyi Libala Na Noko (Franco)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Contribute to Franco Restored

We have been inspired by two friends who left comments on our last post. This is a huge project we are undertaking, with so many OK Jazz songs to find and upload, it is an impossible task for just two of us to complete. So now we ask for your help. There are three ways you can help.

1. If you run a blog and have posted OK Jazz material that we have not uploaded to this blog, please let us know and we will connect your link with our page, as we have already done with some posts.

2. If you do not have time to run a blog, but you have OK Jazz material we have not uploaded yet please contact us at and we will work with you to post the material on our blog. You can either email us the files and we will upload them, or even better for us, if you can upload the files to a site like, we will then create a page for the records and put them on the blog. Please include cover/label scans if possible.

3. If you cannot help in these ways, then you can still help by donating to us via the paypal link on the blog. We have gratefully received some donations so far which helped us to purchase and then upload some rare records, another of which will be posted soon. We do not have much money and these records, especially the rarest ones, can be very expensive. So we sincerely promise your donations will be put to good use, for the good of all lovers of the music of Franco Luambo Makiadi et TPOK Jazz.

Thank you all for your support

Kasongo and Isaac Musanga

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Live Chez Un-Deux-Trois A Kinshasa (African 360.116) - 1977

This classic album from 1977 was recorded live at Franco's club the Un-Deux-Trois A Kinshasa. The front cover shows what it was like in the club at that time. How we wish we were adults in Kinshasa at this time. Perhaps some of you have fond memories of attending the club in this great period for Congolese music.

Three of the four tracks were composed by Franco, the other by Youlou. Classic late 70's Ok Jazz.

Side A
1. Mama na kyky (Franco)

2. Azwaka Te Azwilelo (Franco)

Side B

1. Falaswa (Franco)

2. Ibrahim (Youlou)

Here is the link

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kwamy et son Orchestre Jazz (1970) Fiesta 51.049 - Nga Sie No.7

This single from Kwamy has two really beautiful rumba tracks he composed. We are not sure if the Orchestre Jazz credited on the label is OK Jazz or Kwamy's own group. It certainly sounds like Franco playing the great sebene solo on 'Adeline.' It could indeed be him, because the troubled Kwamy briefly rejoined OK Jazz from 1970-1972 and this single was released in 1970. If anyone can clear this up we would be grateful.

One thing that strikes us about this is how great the recording sounds, even when transfered to mp3, just listen to that great sebene at 2.43 into 'Adeline.'

Kwamy et son orchestre Jazz (Fiesta 51.049 - Nga Sie No.7)

Side A - Adeline (Kwamy)

Side B - Elise Ata Na Cimetiere (Kwamy)

Mayi Tokomelaka (1987) (Edipop 1012)

Here is a real rarity we found in our father's collection. It is controversial because Franco was found guilty in court of copying the song, without credit, from a composer called Bidika Nowele, who called the song 'Mayi ya Regideso.' Those of you who speak French can read the full details of the court case here.

On the record we have Nowele is credited as the composer, but the court case states the first release of the record credited Franco as the composer!

So here is the track. Unfortunately there are a lot of skips on it, we could not fix this. Still this is a great rare find for serious OK Jazz collectors. If anyone has a better version please send it to us and we will post it instead.

We have combined the A and B sides of this single into one mp3.
There is no cover for the single unfortunately. You can download it here.


Here is another version of this track uploaded by a visitor to this site Peter, thank you for your contribution.

Peter also provided us with this photo of the label

African Retro Vol. 1 and Merveilles du Passé 1957/1958

This blog is all about collecting all the Ok Jazz related material we can find in one place, so we occasionally post links to uploads made on other blogs. Here we post links from our friends at Global Groovers to two old records featuring OK Jazz in their early days.

Merveilles du Passé 1957/1958 is some of the earliest Ok Jazz on record, heavy rumbas, beautiful music.
You can read more about the album and download it here

Track listing

1 Motema ya lokoso (Franco)
2 Oyangani ngai ? (Franco)
3 Oleka tukomane (Vicky)
4 Ngai oyo nazongi (Vicky)
5 Bana ages (Franco)
6 Oh ! Katharina (Franco)
7 La mulata rumber (Franco)
8 Malambo zela (Franco)
9 Mami majos (Franco)
10 OK Jazz makila mabe (Franco)
11 Grupo O.K. Jazz (Franco)
12 Baboni mboka (Franco)

The second link from Global Groovers is a compilation called African Retro Vol.1. The first six tracks are by OK Jazz. The album also includes music by Orchestre Bantous and Orchestre Cercul.

 Track listing

1 Orchestre OK Jazz - Misele (Franco)
2 Orchestre OK Jazz - On a ose le dire (Franco)
3 Orchestre OK Jazz - Polo (Franco)
4 Orchestre OK Jazz - Bolingo ya bougie (Coimy)
5 Orchestre OK Jazz - Si tu bois beaucoup (Dele)
6 Orchestre OK Jazz - Le temps passe (Franco)
7 Orchestre Bantous - Pa' vacillar
8 Orchestre Bantous - Bantous pachanga
9 Orchestre Cercul - Mobali ya craneur
10 Orchestre Cercul - Honole
11 Orchestre Bantous - Endiable merengue
12 Orchestre Bantous - Tout Brazza

Soon we will post a very rare and controversial OK Jazz track which we found in our father's collection.