Monday, April 23, 2007
ANTOINE "PAPA" WENDO KOLOSOY
If Joseph "Le Grand Kalle" Kabasale is considered the father of Modern Congolese music then one must place Antoine Wendo Kolosoy as Grandfather of the legacy of Modern Congolese music. He emerged mixing Congolese traditional melodies that he learned from his mother with Cuban rumba, waltz, and tango. His first hit "Marie Louise" was recorded in 1948, which earned him jail time for the song was accused of being able to wake the dead. Read more about Papa Wendo in this wonderful 2002 interview given by Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide:
Wendo Kolosoy Interview from Afropop.org
At 82 years old he is the oldest living Congolese performer. Sadly in this day and age this seems to be rare. We still have Tabu Ley, Sam Mangwana, Mbilia Bel, Papa Wemba and Pepe Felly (among others) still with us making music. Let us hope they make it to see 82 and beyond and continue to move us with their music in the meantime.
Upon his return to the scene Wendo Kolosoy opens up his album "Marie Louise" (1999) with a tribute to one of Congolese music's 'gone too soon' fallen stars, Pepe Kelle. It is named for Pepe Kalle as well and it is in one word Beautiful. The memoriam is short but heartfelt. Coming from the Grandfather of modern day Congolese music, it also speaks to Pepe Kalle's greatness. Pepe Kalle(song)
On the same album is a remake of his 1948 hit Marie Louise
You can hear snippets from (and purchase) Wendo Kolosoy's return from retirement "Marie Louise" and also his 2002 release "Amba" @ Stern's Music. Just click the link that says samples and enjoy.
Antoine Wendo Kolosoy is a walking breathing living legend and we here at Tambour D'Afrique salute him.