Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Bel Ami by Papá Noel, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Bel Ami

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

Of the many Congolese guitarists, there are three that form a triumvirate: Nico, Franco, and Papa Noel. This excellent sample of his work is taken from the 1984 Bon Samaritain and the 1994 Haute Tension. The first musical influence on the young Noel were Cuban sones. At about the same time during his early youth, the first Congolese rumbas were recorded. He taught himself how to play guitar and made his first record at the age of 16. In the early '60s, he accepted an invitation to play from Grand Kalle Kabasele to join his Orchestra African Jazz replacing Dr. Nico, one of the greatest Congolese guitarists of all time. In the late '70s, Franco asked him to join his Tout Puissant O.K. Jazz. He complemented Franco's more aggressive attack with a lighter, fleeter touch. While with this band, he left in 1984 and assembled a group of musicians, two of whom were from T.P.O.K. Jazz and a horn section from the Congolese army. The result was Bon Samaritain, one of the best selling Congolese records of the year and a classic of Congolese rumba. The selections from the 1994 Haute Tension reprise the ambience of the Golden Era of Congolese rumba, contrasting dramatically with the frenetic soukous of the 1990s that seem to be so many guitar exercises in repetition. Papa Noel was featured on Sam Mangwana's highly acclaimed Galo Negro album of 1998. An album of authentic sensuous swaying rhythms, honey-laced vocals, and magical fingers on guitar frets. Highly recommended.


Genre: Africa

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

One of the most important members of Franco's legendary OK Jazz band, guitarist Papa Noel's quick-fingered virtuosity and light, airy touch made him a major figure in the music of Zaire (later the Democratic Republic of Congo). Born Noel Nedule circa 1941, Papa Noel grew up in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo (the country adjacent to what became Zaire), and learned to play the guitar by copying the Afro-Cuban-derived rumba music that was becoming popular in the region. In 1957, at the age of...
Full bio
Bel Ami, Papá Noel
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.