It’s hard to believe there is a musician anywhere on this earth that could mix great jazz chops with a soulful outlook and a worldly attitude and still make it so fun and funky that it doesn’t matter what allegiance you address. This stuff rocks. And, amazingly, it’s just as timely now as it was back then.
The following tunes come from Manu Dibango’s Africadelic album, the tremendous 1973 French-only follow-up of sorts to the worldwide smash that was “Soul Makossa.” Copies of this LP, which was briefly issued on CD about a decade ago, can still be found (and, surprisingly, the LP is actually easier and cheaper to get a hold of than the CD).
Several folks have posted samples of the music from this album on YouTube, which I am only too pleased to share here.
I’ve been a big fan of Cameroon’s greatest living musician since Manu Dibango’s classic “Soul Makossa” in 1972 – which surely everybody in the free world knows by now (it’s influenced much music, including, most notably, Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”).
But I was convinced by Electric Africa (1985) and fully converted by Wakafrika (1994). Africadelic is just one of the hidden gems in Manu DiBango’s capacious catalog. Here are examples of why it’s so good:
The terrific “The Panther”:
The great “African Battle”: