Tuesday, April 3, 2007


No one can mention Congolese music without mentioning Franco et Le Tout Pouissant O.K. Jazz. Franco is said to have shaped modern Congolese music from his innovative guitar strumming technique to the subject matter he covered in his music, Franco was an Originator of the genre and several Ochestras and musicians owe their success their success to him.

Franco Luambo Makiadi - Wikipedia Entry

I found this great village voice article on Franco in which he is dubbed "The James Brown of Africa".

Franco de Mi Amor by Robert Christgau

Last weeks show (which was in actuality Show #3; click playlist on the right hand side to listen) Guy covered Franco's earlier works such as Est Ce Que Oyebi?, Cheri Lovy. These songs are from the late '60s. Franco's writing style is appealing in that he covers everyday relationship issues. His phrasing (or it could just be the Lingala language that allows for it) is poetic yet simple. The story Cheri Lovy is about a young woman who wishes badly to get pregnant by her man. So badly in fact that she even goes to the market to buy a doll and dresses the doll as a child and gets laughed at. But she's that desperate. 'Nakobota papi, Nakobota..." she says (i will give birth papi, i will). My favorite song from this era of Franco is "Nayebaki Likambo" which means "I Know Problems". A young man talks about how he lost his love, he doesn't want to speak or go anywhere. Basically he's love sick. He says tell my granma and family I'm going back to Kinshasa because he can't find his love where he is.

Nayebaki Likambo - Franco et T.P. OK Jazz

More to come...


aduna said...


Happy to see/hear that the african music blog's family has a new member.

Long life to 'Tambour d'Afrique'...


ms bazu said...



thanks for the support aduna!

Matimila said...

How disrespectful to call Franco "The James Brown Of Africa" ! Luambo was and will always be the Franco of Africa. If James Brown was the Franco of America good for him but never the former.

ms bazu said...

@matimila if you say so. this blog is directed towards people who don't know much about african music. it was a comparison and one that *I* presonally didn't make but one that was made and I don't think it is disrespectful at all. James Brown had a global impact on music. Franco is franco and the comparison does not take away from that it just goes to show a reader not from Africa or who doesn't know who he is it gives them an understanding of Franco's global impact as well. nothing more nothing less. let's not over react. peace.