Author Topic: It was sixty years ago today...  (Read 74 times)

Yovo

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It was sixty years ago today...
« on: June 06, 2016, 02:53:07 pm »
Sixty years since June 6, 1956.
So happy birthday, OK Jazz!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tztwqJFEo6I

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tutulu

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Re: It was sixty years ago today...
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 05:15:36 pm »
It is always amazing for me whenever I see such pictures

of the early TPOK Jazz, Grand Kalle, Vicky Longomba, Henri Bowane etc. etc.

Who are the other members in the pictures.

I, like I am sure any follower of Congolese music, can identify the Luambo with a cloth on his shirt and holding a guitar.

newfan

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Re: It was sixty years ago today...
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 08:49:47 am »
Which was their best decade?  i say the 1970s, though they had great stuff throughout Franco's long career.
My opinions about each decade:
 1950s: Songs tend to be too short and Cuban-sounding, though the Franco guitar saves them from mediocrity
  1960s: Late in the decade, great, great songs with frequency
  1970s: The pinnacle
  1980s: The big band sound, with glorious music mixed with long, self-indulgent tedium like "Mario"

Still the greatest band of all time anywhere.

Yovo

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Re: It was sixty years ago today...
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 11:00:30 am »
The musicians I can identify on the picture:

left to right Jean Serge Essous (with cigarette), De la Lune (with guitar), Roitelet (above him, with double bass), Rossignol (with scarf and shades), Vicky, ?, Franco.

Yovo

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Re: It was sixty years ago today...
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 11:35:09 am »
I agree with Newfan about the 70s being their best decade.

But of course there is more to say.
Without discarding the humble beginnings in Oscar Kashama's OK Bar, the band really took off in the early 60s, when Simaro had joined the band and singers like Vicky and Mujos contributed great songs. Later that decade Verckys joined and the overall sound became very exciting, with long guitar-sax sebens that still do the trick of making you want to dance on the spot.
Then, in the 70s, the arrival of the giants: Sam Mangwana, Youlou Mabiala, Ntesa Dalienst, Josky. OK Jazz really became Tout Puissant. Simaro wrote some of his most poignant songs, like Ebala ya Zaire and Radio Trottoir, a song that has also one of the most impressive sebens I've ever heard.
By the end of the decade the classic big band style had taken shape, and it wouldn't change in the 80s, only become more refined. Regardless of what I said about the 70s, some of my favorite songs are from this era, like Kimpa Kisangameni and Testament ya Bowule, both of them timeless masterpieces. And don't forget singers like Madilu and Malage, two of the finest voices that have ever been on one stage together.

All in all, in all of Franco's catalogue there isn't one song that doesn't do it for me. Some are better than others, but there are no bad OK Jazz tracks, from any era. Even the songs from the very first beginning stand out as promises of what was to come. This is a band that almost lasted a lifetime, and will shine on to entertain future generations.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 11:45:22 am by Yovo »