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The Very Best of Manu Dibango: Afro Soul Jazz from the Original Makossa Man

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iTunes Review

Showcasing the breadth of a wickedly versatile musician, this collection of Manu Dibango's '70s and '80s recordings is a lesson in the art of groove. Infectious funk workout "Soul Makossa" sparks the party before cuts like the furious "Sun Explosion" and the soaring 10-minute epic "Electric Africa" connect the dots between traditional Afrobeat and the disco and electro-funk scenes. Dance-floor respite comes from an airy take on the standard "Poinciana," which is a testament to Dibango's jazz chops.

Customer Reviews

Not a bad place to start

First of all, Manu Dibango does not play "Afrobeat". "Afrobeat" was a style of music created by Fela Kuti, and it is ignorant to refer to other Afro-funk as "Afrobeat" unless it is based on Fela's model. Soul Makossa, then is not "Afrobeat" but, rather, Makossa. Dibango's musical output is staggering, and to reduce a "best of" compilation to eleven tracks is not doing the man justice. The trend over the past five years has been to focus on African artists' more funk-inspired works, and perhaps that is part of the reason that Dibango's more jazzy side is neglected on this disc. There are certainly better Dibango compilations out there (check "Africa Soul" or "Africadelic"), but this album is by no means a bad place to start (just don't call it Afrobeat!).


Born: February 10, 1934 in Cameroon

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dibango is Cameroon's, and perhaps Africa's, best-known jazz saxophonist. Starting in the 1950s, he became a globe-trotting musician, living and performing in France, Belgium, Jamaica, Zaire, and Cote d'Ivoire, as well as in Cameroon. In 1960, Dibango was one of the founding members of the Zairean band African Jazz, with whom he spent five years. World attention came to Dibango with the release in 1972 of Soul Makossa, a work that actually had precious little of the makossa sound in it, and scored...
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The Very Best of Manu Dibango: Afro Soul Jazz from the Original Makossa Man, Manu Dibango
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