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The Voice of Lightness

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Editors’ Notes

Throughout the 1960s and early ‘70s the Congolese vocalist Tabu Ley Rochereau led one of the most accomplished and popular outfits on the African continent. Though Rochereau and his band scored numerous pan-continental hits and effectively popularized the lilting Caribbean influenced sekou style of playing, Rocheraeu’s work is not as well known in the West as it ought to be. Thankfully the superb British imprint Stern’s Africa has gone a long ways towards righting this injustice by issuing the exhaustive two-disc set, The Voice of Lightness which features many of Tabu Ley’s seminal ‘60s and ‘70s sides. Listeners more familiar with West African funk and Highlife will be surprised by the crisp, gentle quality of Rochereau’s work, which features intricate tremolo- laden guitar lines, sweetly harmonized backing vocals, and restrained percussion. The laid-back style of these recordings stands in stark contrast to the work of feted funk superstars like Fela Kuti, but occupies an equally important place in the history of African popular music.

Customer Reviews

Really cool

I bought this cd at an African museum in Milwaukee, its one of those cd's you can just put in and listen to all the way through (both disks) I recommend it to all.


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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The Voice of Lightness, Tabu Ley Rochereau
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