It's the weekend, for those still keeping track, and I had been meaning to post this memorial so here we are once again.
A few days ago this dastardly COVID-19 virus claimed the life of Manu Dibango, who was 86.
Probably the most recognizable musician from Cameroon, he had been filling dancefloors and concert halls since he broke out in 1972 with a classic hit single to which folks still get down.
In the early 1980s Michael Jackson borrowed a line from it and, decades later, had to pay Manu Dibango a whole lotta paper.
His music is endlessly fascinating for the way it reinvents the Funk that Black Americans wove from African music as it boomeranged back across the ocean, merging it with the traditional Cameroonian music he grew up with.
A master of several instruments including vibraphone and saxophone, he was one of the original exponents of what people now call World Music.
Archival bits of him are hard to come by, but I have plucked the audio stream from a German satellite TV broadcast from a quarter century ago that is a particularly fine example of him doing his thing.
25th Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen
01 Movement et Wondo
02 Soul Makossa
03 Soir au Village
04 Afric sans Fric
05 Big Blow
Total time: 43:34
Manu Dibango - alto saxophone, percussion & vocals
David Lewis - trumpet
Jerry Malenki - guitar
Francois Moity - keyboards
Andre Manga - bass
Olivier Ezenval - drums & percussion
Florence Titty - vocals & percussion
Kaissa Doumbe - vocals & percussion
224/48 audio extracted from a 1994 German satellite TV broadcast
227 MB FLAC/March 2020 archive link
I will try to finish off March with one more thing, coming soon to a purple page near you.
Don't miss out on this sizzling set from Manu Dibango, whom we remember today as we wish everyone safety and serenity out there in what's become an immediately frightening world.--J.
12.12.1933 - 3.24.2020