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Mauritius Ravanne Drum
The ravanne is a large drum — a goatskin stretched over a wooden frame — played with the hands, emblematic of the Creole cultural heritage on this island in the Indian Ocean: the music here is fabulous.



Jonas Gwangwa And African Explosion Who (Ngubani)?
A funky afro-rock classic, his 1969 debut for Ahmad Jamal’s label by this future director of Amandla (the cultural ensemble of the ANC). Tipped ages ago by the excellent matsuli.blogspot.com.



Kenyan Songs And Strings 1950 And 1952
From his home in South Africa, Hugh Tracey — son of a Devonshire doctor — travelled throughout southern, central and eastern Africa every year between 1948 and 1963, amassing his pioneering field recordings.

Fr...





Zanzibara 4: Bi Kidude
'Little Thing' began her singing career in the 1920s. This spans the last twenty years, with illustrious ensembles like the Culture Music Club and the Zanzibar Taarab All Stars.



Bulawayo Jazz Southern Rhodesia, 1950, '51, '52
In front, trumpet and tenor saxophone, dominated by a wailing alto sound you can trace through to Dudu Pukwana; the bottom end, trombone or tuba or double bass; banjos strumming away; military-style drumming.



Colonial Dance Bands Kenya, Tanganyika, Portuguese East Africa, Northern Rhodesia, Belgian Congo
1950 and 1952. A variety of dance-band styles, nostalgic, exotic and pioneering all at the same time: pros playing to Europeans in hotels; or enthusiasts, copying the radio, to African audiences.



The Legendary George Sibanda Southern Rhodesia, 1948, '49, '50, '52
His fine guitar-picking and upbeat, carefree songs brought George Sibanda from Bulawayo the fame throughout southern Africa — and he was versioned in the US — which drove him to drink and an early grave.



Forgotten Guitars From Mozambique Portuguese East Africa, 1955, '56, '57
The roots of marrabenta — compelling guitar-playing, and gritty songs about everyday issues, like having kids, sleeping around, snobbery and the supernatural.



Secular Music From Uganda Uganda, 1950 And 1952
Likembe thumb-piano get-togethers, yodels and ekidongo harps, leg-rattles, vocal knees-ups, magwala horn groups, flutes, xylophones and drums.



Tanzania Vocals Tanganyika, 1950
Six hundred Chagga singing on the slopes of Mt. Meru; one hundred Gogo on the plains near Dodoma. Funny songs by the Nyamwezi in Dar-es-Salaam; wigasha dance songs by the Sukuma near Lake Victoria; Masai chants.



Tanzania Instrumentals Tanganyika, 1950
Ligombo and nanga trough zithers, lamellophones, drumming, a flute requiem, Zanzibar grooves, a panpipe ensemble, a makondere horn band.



Southern Mozambique Portuguese East Africa, 1943, '49, '54, '55, '57,'63
Sena and Ndau mbiras; Shangaan singing, drumming and xylophones; Chopi reedpipes and timbila xylophone orchestras, little girls playing ocarinas; Gitonga drums and singing horns.



The Nguni Sound South Africa And Swaziland, 1955, '57, '58
Mostly unaccompanied singing; also with musical bows — just knockout, some of the most beautiful music there is — flutes, and guitars and concertinas.