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Album Review

Though many artists gained acclaim for performances of simplified and amplified versions of soukous, Tabu Ley Rochereau stayed true to the complex and subtle pan-African fusion that he had first invented. His band the Orchestra Afrisa International had lost most of its most famous players, but was still as tight and dynamic as ever. Muzina is not as flashy an album as some which the band had done in the past, but the multi-part rhythms on the CD are as sinuous as ever. The songs here are all in French or in African languages, unlike later releases on which English lyrics appear. The title track is by far the finest, mainly thanks to the beautiful harmonies on the a cappella introduction, which are repeated later with the full band backing the singers. Muzina is melodic and enjoyable, but rarely intense. A fine, though not groundbreaking effort, which was welcomed by the faithful, but didn't expand the audience.

Biography

Born: 1940 in Bundundu, Zaire

Genre: World

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Tabu Ley Rochereau (born Tabu Ley) is one of Africa's most influential vocalists and one of its most prolific songwriters. Since making his professional debut, in 1954, as a member of Joseph "Grand Kalle" Kabasele's band, African Jazz, Rochereau has written more than two thousand songs. Together with his band, Orchestre Afrisa International, which he formed in 1970, Rochereau has continued to play a major role in the shift from Congolese, Cuban, and Caribbean rumba to faster-paced soukous. Describing...
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Muzina, Tabu Ley Rochereau
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