Blog May 15, 2020
Quarantunes: Tabu Ley Rochereau and Sam Mangwana in the '70s

Look, I'm going to be honest with you--the sound on this video is not great. The quality of the video is also pretty touch and go. And, just so you know this going in, it seems to have been recorded using only two cameras, so get ready for a lot of a single wide-angle shot, with the lead singer featured in a star-shaped close-up, picture-in-picture.

But, man oh man, it's Tabu Ley Rochereau and Sam Mangwana in the '70s, and that's enough.

I don't have any other specifics—it appears to have been posted by a Christian television station in the southern suburbs of Paris, but there's nothing indicating that they recorded it. Time has been tough on the recording but these singers and this band are utter marvels and I think the dated touches—like the lengthy strobe-light dance sequence—really add a lot to the experience.

I've been listening to that Zaire '74 record all week, and thinking about Michael Jordan, and I'm slightly convinced that Tabu Ley showed up to that giant concert in Kinshasa in 1974 and was determined to blow away his rival Franco on the biggest stage possible (because he and his band absolutely do). Mangwana sang for Franco and TP OK Jazz (and was singing back-up at the Zaire '74 concert), but judging from their duets, Tabu Ley was in a good mood this evening. And now, so are we.

Related Articles


Afropop Continue to Afropop.org