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Maria Tebbo

Sam Mangwana

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Album Review

These two LPs from 1978 and 1979 have a pan-African virtuosity as yet unmatched. One album has no horns and shimmers through the gentlest dance music you ever heard. The other is slightly more international, from the trenchant "Affaire Disco" with its Willie Colon 'bone sound to the smash "Waka Waka."


Born: 1945 in Kinshasa, Congo

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Sam Mangwana is one of the last of the great Zairean rumba (soukous) vocalists. A former member of such seminal groups as Tabu Ley Rocherau's Africa Fiesta and Franco's TPOK Jazz, Mangwana has steered soukous from the hard-edged sounds of his predecessors. According to the Washington Post, "While his former employers were the masters of the relentless, springy, soukous music of Central Africa, Mangwana employs a lighter, more acoustic, more Caribbean, sound." In a review of Mangwana's 1999 concert...
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Maria Tebbo, Sam Mangwana
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