Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Voice of Lightness

Tabu Ley Rochereau "Kelya" - mp3
Thanks to Cem for turning us on to this gem of a record from African vocalist Tabu Ley Rochereau. Released earlier this year, the double disc Voice of Lightness (Stern's Africa) spans Rochereau's career and touches all the major high marks. On the back of similar African records we've been loving this year, (Nigeria Special, Orchestra Baobab, Nigeria 70, Toumani Diabate, Tinariwen etc...) Voice of Lightness may take the cake as one of the best we've come across. More info below...

"The Tabu Ley set is especially satisfying. Ken Braun's fine essay hits the nail on the head, cleanly decoding the complexities of band transitions - Tabu Ley sang in six different formations between 1961-77! - while keeping the focus on this remarkable and visionary vocalist. Tabu Ley was decidedly a modernizer, the first Congolese singer to use a trap drum kit, to develop a choreographed stage show, and to perform at Paris's prestigious Oympia Theatre (1970). As Braun points out, Tabu Ley's penchant for modernity sometimes led him in unfortunate directions, particularly after this period. This well chosen selection is a pot of gold by comparison, and really clarifies exactly why he remains such a towering figure in Congo music."
-Banning Eyre,

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