Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Nite Videos...Connecting The Dots.

I've always loved the feel and the sound of Salsa, Merengue, Rumba, Bachata and the like but I never got INTO it. I mean as a kid I wasn't really INTO my own music (Kompas and Ya Miziki Ya Congo respectively) so I wasn't exactly about to dive headfirst into Latin American music. As I (re)discover Congolese music and it's roots I find myself getting more and more into Latin American music. It is no wonder why there is a connection between the music in Latin America and that of what some call "Congolese Afro Pop" (I'm going to keep a tally of how many different names for Congolese music I come across lol). As Guy stated on the show last night, there is the matter of language. Lingala as a language seems to fit the rhythm of Rumba the way Spanish does. Guy admits on the show last night that when he first stepped off the plane at age 12 with his family and he heard the people speaking Lingala he could have sworn it WAS Spanish. The influence of the Portuguese on the language are probably to 'blame'.

And of course there is the matter of rhythm that traveled with the enslaved Africans that found themselves in the Americas, only to find its way back to Africa through radio waves and Cuban hotel lounge singers. The Congolese who fell in love with Cuban Rumba took on the music so naturally. It doesn't sound out of place at all to hear early Grand Kalle et African Jazz next to say...Celia Cruz. Although she is known as a Cuban Salsa singer I bring her up for good reason...

It's gonna sound silly but I remember distinctly first seeing Celia Cruz on Sesame Street as a child. And although I was never a true fan of her music I was always a fan of HERS and was always pleased to see her on television. She's the only big STAR of Latin American music that I really am familiar with (aside from Tito Puente, whom I was acquainted with through an episode of The Cosby Show).

It was recently brought to my attention that Celia Cruz performed in Kinshasa in 1974 in the huge concert held for one of the biggest fights in the history of boxing, most famously known as The Rumble In The Jungle.

Muhammed Ali and George Foreman weren't the only show in town that October. Big American stars like James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner were there as well as local superstars like Franco & OK Jazz. Also present were Hector Lavoe and The Fania All-Stars who accompanied Celia Cruz.

Here is some footage from You Tube that I found of the concert. Honestly to see the Puerto Rican band and Cuban songstress exchange energy with the African crowd was so beautiful to me I had to blog about it. It is a live reel full of the fantastic sounds of a people returning home and their family welcoming them.

Performing: KIMBARA


I leave you with Le Grand Kalle et L'African Jazz's version of Guantanamera

R.I.P. Celia Cruz and Hector Lavoe...

Until next time...PEACE


AFKAP of Darkness said...

come on now... if you're posting footage of the Rumble in the Jungle concert, how can you not post Hector Lavoe's soul-stirring rendition of "Mi Gente"?

my favorite part of that whole show is when the audience whips Hector up in their arms and carries him about in some crude crowd-surfing. he looks into the camera and shouts "AAFREEKAAAA!"

ms bazu said...

lol i didn't post that 'cause it didn't go with my anecdote about Celia Cruz mayne!


i thought about it
but i had written so much already
i didn't want to make a super long
entry about puerto ricans and cubans (though i got love for them always lol)

i'm already saddened at the length of my grand kalle and dr nico entries 'cause i could barely find anything on them.

But true indeed that footage was/is awesome and that's actually the footage that made me realize that celia cruz had performed at that concert. And it was thanks to you wasn't it? if i remember correctly you posted that in the Lesson.

Anyways there's always a next time!


AFKAP of Darkness said...

lol i didn't post that 'cause it didn't go with my anecdote about Celia Cruz mayne!

yeah, i kinda realized that after i had already posted the comment!

anyway, i forgot that i had posted that Hector Lavoe footage before... one of these days i need to rip you a copy of the full DVD (and maybe the Pointer Sisters' performance at the same event if you are so inclined!)

ms bazu said...

MAN! i need a whole list of all the people who performed at that event.
i would LOVE to see the pointer sisters perform. they were one of my favorites as a lil' kid lol
i didn't know they performed there too. that must have been the best concert ever had in all of history. If you did that for me that would be GREAT! THANKS A MILLION.

zim said...

by the way,

there's a couple nice congolese songs from the event on "Hits & Misses - Muhammad Ali & The Ultimate Sound Of Fist Fighting"

8ieme Round - Trio Madjesi
Foreman Ali Welcome To Kinshasa - Orchestre G. O. Malebo