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Rumba Congo

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Audio CD, July 24, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Rumba congolaise lives on, its vivacious rhythms, charming voices and dazzling guitars revived by eight veteran musicians under the collective name of Kékélé.

Review

Kékélé's Rumba Congo is an album that brings together seven decorated veterans of Congolese rumba's golden age. All of these musicians have been playing since the 1960s and one, Papa Noel, has been into the Congolese scene since 1957. It is an enduring strand (Kékélé is the Lingala word for a fibrous vine woven to make rope in the Congo) that harks back to the graceful elegance of the classic rumba of the Congo, whose main appeal is its sensuous charm. The Cuban influence, along with myriad other influences, has been inflected and melded into Congolese rumba. The rumba magicians have reworked rhythms and melodies via their native tongue, Lingala. This classic Congolese rumba is a welcome antidote to the surfeit of soukous stars who have succumbed to instant success by producing albums that reek of repetition, exaggeration, and uninventive guitar exercises. Here is the full glory of Congolese rumba, played with style and an elegant sensuality that is without equal in the world of African music. Why anyone would want to abandon such an appealing and diversely rich music such as this is hard to comprehend. It is a credit to these and other Congolese musicians who have kept this music alive and revived it amidst the welter of soukous clones. There is no filler here, only unguent guitar work, honey-laced vocals, piping-hot percussion, and tight fat horns. It would be difficult to top this recording for Congolese rumba album of the year or, for that matter, African album of the year. Highly recommended. --Mark Romano, AllMusic.com

Kékélé is to Central Africa what Buena Vista Social Club is to Cuba. --The Weekend

Something special happening here, with several great Congolese singers teaming up to form a supergroup that harks back to the folksier Latin phase of the music the mood is acoustic, the rhythms smooth and catchy as cicadas in the moonlight, the voices sweet and beguiling. --Folk Roots


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stern's Africa
  • ASIN: B00005JJ1R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tamuka on April 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Regardless of one's musical preferences, this is simply beautiful music. These old timers bring back pre-soukous rumba for the new millenium ... heavenly voices over that seductive guitar-driven Congo style. Never ceases to send shivers up the spine. The added advantages of modern recording technology is the pure clarity of sound one misses in the few 50's offerings available. Can't wait fot the follow-up. Hope these guys perform in Southern California sometime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shashi Jivan on August 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I just saw them live in Berkeley last night, and they were simply amazing to see playing together. The vocal harmonies, Congolese guitar rhythms, accompanying soulful sax, combined with the amazing stage presence of these all star legends made for a most memorable night. I have their Congo Life CD that is hard to stop playing, and last night at the concert I bought the Rumba Congo one, which is packed with intricate congo rhythms and vocal styles. If you're a lover of world music, you will love this CD!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Play It By Ear on August 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I don't know what industry people got together to make this possible but this is a breath fresh air.It seems to be getting wide distribution in the USA and actually selling copies to boot. This goes against conventional wisdom that seems to believe that the only thing the public wants is speedy soukous, much of which is beginning to sound all the same. Nothing old fashioned about great imaginative music and this is proof. Nearly 65 minutes and you will shake your hips and buttocks.
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By COMPUTERJAZZMAN on January 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
KEKELE IS A VOCAL HARMONY GROUP FROM THE CONGO IN AFRICA. THEY SING BEAUTIFULLY, WITH TRADITIONAL CONGOLESE RHYTMS AND INSTRUMENTS BACKING THEM UP. THIS CD SHOWCASES THEIR TALENT AND UNIQUE VOCAL STYLIZATIONS. I ENJOY LISTENING TO THIS CD A LOT.
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