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Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos Paperback – January 1, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“The first really comprehensive account of the development of an African pop style.”—Times Literary Supplement

“The most comprehensive account written in English of the rich history of music from the Belgian Congo, Zaire, DR Congo, French Congo or simply Congo”—Charlie Gillet

“For fans and scholars alike, it is a godsend to have so much history packed into a single volume.”—Boston Phoenix

“A fascinating and tantalizing celebration”—Herald

“[Stewart’s] love and understanding of Congolese music is strikingly evident throughout his book. Few can match his encyclopedic knowledge.”—International Journal of African Historical Studies.

“[A]n enthralling dissemination of how changing times and ancient traditions blended to create a distinctive type of music along the Congo River.”—Wisconsin Bookwatch

“[Stewart] details the evolution of both the music and politics of the area and his accessible writing makes Rumba an important addition to the bookshelf of serious students of Afropop, African history, and popular music in general. The book is rigorously researched and dense with facts, which Stewart lays out in a readable style.”—Seattle Weekly

“[Stewart] has a way of describing a song that makes you want to stop reading and immediately cue up a forgotten track.”—Bob Tarte, The Beat

“Stewart pinpoints key elements in the music’s history, while neatly summarising broader historical events as a preamble to the genesis and growth of a onetime contender for the title of the world’s best dance music.”—Richard Henderson, The Wire

“[S]uperbly presented and eloquently written ... extensively researched.”—Martin Sinnock, Songlines

“Attention all sapeurs and devotees de la musique soukous or rumba rock. Here comes a handsome 400 page tome that celebrates the music of the Congo, from both banks of the river ... Gary Stewart is a deeply knowledgeable and passionate narrator.”—Straight No Chaser

"[A] gem...an encyclopaedic portrait of the flowering of Congolese music in Brazzaville and Kinshasa — or Léopoldville, as it was originally known...Stewart’s story is not just about music. It is also a depiction of the debilitating social, economic and political environment that is the canvas for this portrait." —Standard Media

About the Author

Gary Stewart is a writer who has lived and worked in Africa. His articles on African and Caribbean music have appeared in numerous publications including The Beat, Option, and West Africa. He is the author of Breakout: Profiles in African Rhythm and Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos—for more information on the latter, visit <a href="http://rumbaontheriver.com/">rumbaontheriver.com</a>.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Verso (January 1, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1859843689
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1859843680
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.19 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
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