Hi -- welcome to my African music review section. This page includes records by artists under the letter "G". More African music resources can be found at the main index page.
By the way, I'm hardly a world's expert on African music, and this list is kinda whatcha call a "work in progress," so please feel free to make suggestions and comments.
Gamana "Le Marija" (Lyrichord, 1999)
Yummy!! A lovely change of pace from the aggressively-arranged pop albums by better-known Madagascarian bands such as Tarika and Tarika Sammy... This has the same musical elements; the supple acoustic guitar, the plucked harp, distinctive percussion and Malagasy vocals, but here it's all done at a much more leisurely pace, and as a result is more seductive and lulling. Well worth checking out.
Grand Kalle & L'African Jazz "Merveilles Du Passe, v.1: 1958-1960" (Sonodisc, 1992)
Gorgeous, classic work from Congolese bandleader Joseph Kabasele Tshamala, aka Grand Kalle, whose tremendously influential dance band, L'African Jazz, fostered the talent of African pop stars such as Dr. Nico, Tabu Ley Rochereau, Manu Dibango, and others. These gorgeous early recordings feature the type of elegant, hypnotic, multilayered electric guitar work that make Congolese pop such a delight -- more stunning still is the thought that these beautiful, sophisticated guitar riffs came years before the maturation of British and American rock music, in the wake fo the so-called British Invasion. Also, the sound quality is quite nice: apparently Grand Kalle was a real stickler for high technical standards. A wide variety of styles comes together on these tracks, in particular the influence of Cuban dance music is strongly felt (hence, the labeling of this sound as "rumba" music...) Lyrics are in French, Spanish and local languages.
Grand Kalle & L'African Jazz "Merveilles Du Passe, v.2: 1961-1962" (Sonodisc, 1992)
On this second volume of Grand Kalle's early work, the Cuban influence becomes much more prominent -- dominant, even -- with harder, more driving rhythms and more piercing melodic runs. I prefer the softer, more subtle guitar runs and the more "African" sounding songs, but fortunately there's still plenty of that here as well, with Tabu Ley and others still creating some of the prettiest music you'll ever hear. Recommended!
Grand Kalle & L'African Jazz "Succes Des Annees '50-'60, v.1" (Syllart, 2006)
Grand Kalle & L'African Jazz "Succes Des Annees '50-'60, v.2" (Syllart, 2006)
Grand Kalle & L'African Team "Volume 1" (Syllart, 2006)
Grand Kalle & L'African Team "Volume 2: 1967, 1968, 1970" (Syllart, 2006)
Grand Kalle & L'African Team "Volume 3: Essous/Kwamy/Mujos/Edo/Casino" (Syllart, 2006)
African Artists... Letter "H"
African Music Index
World Music Index