Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mtoto Si Nguo



Like Father...Like Son
the only son,Johnstone Ouko Mukabi in the footsteps of his late father,
the legendary guitarist George Mukabi
two generations of classic Kenyan  fingerstyle guitarists  at their  finest
George Mukabi from the distant 1960
and Johnstone from the distant 1985
utterly beautiful Music



Mtoto Si Nguo

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Nairobi Sound




.....From this melting-pot of influences gradually emerged distinctively Kenyan finger- styles. In the towns, the influence of ‘Katangan’ styles, Latin American music, and two-guitar styles from Zaire were strongest. The rural finger-styles developed in parallel with the town styles, to some extent both feeding off, and feeding, the town music. The rural styles were less varied, less sophisticated, and less open to outside influences, being more strongly rooted in local traditions. The rural ‘Sukuti’ style, on the other hand, was more vigorous and more rhythmic than the town playing.
Town-based guitarists tried their luck with the young but expanding record industry. They composed Swahili songs which were sold as singles to the urban working class. Many were straight love-songs, no different from those in any other type of popular music. Others commented on the changes that town life brings, warning for example against prostitutes. Themes such as the lack of work in Nairobi also began to be common, although political songs didn’t really emerge until the 1960’s.


Some rural finger-stylists like George Mukabi and William Osale also had success in the towns, providing Swahili versions of songs that they might sing in local languages back home. The appeal of their songs lay in the fact that many town dwellers had (and still have) strong links with the land, and the themes of these songs, often conservative and sometimes nostalgic, reminded them of the old values

During the 1950% guitarists in the country were often viewed by the authorities as trouble-makers, debauchees, and rebels. This view was shared by chiefs, the church, and the colonial administration alike: by everyone, in fact, except the ordinary people who liked the new music. To some extent this criticism could be applied to any musician who got mixed up with drink and trouble: and it was not difficult to find guitarists with exotic, dangerous life-styles. Many of Tobias Oyugi’s songs are about riotous behaviour, drunkenness, and arrests. George Mukabi met a violent end as the result of a quarrel with his wife’s family. However, it went further than this: the guitarists also represented a threatening kind of change.

The typical Kenyan sound of this time is rather difficult to define. It was an attractive, clean sound, both in the guitar playing and the singing. There was plenty of variety in the solo guitar playing whether in the form of repeated set instrumental passages, or improvised riffs and variations. Compared to the heavier intensity of contemporary Zairean groups, the Kenyan sound had a lighter ‘country’ feel. Nevertheless, this was a time of vigorous exploration and development for Kenyan music.Kenyan musicians were consciously struggling to develop a truly national music and at their best produced dynamic, original and very exciting dance tunes. One of the best examples is ‘Western Shilo’ by Daudi Kabaka, playing and singing with George Agade, and, incidentally, using finger-styles. Both these men are Luhya and ‘shilo’ is a Luhya dance rhythm. ‘Western Shilo’ therefore incorporates a traditional rhythm, in triple time, into a modern guitar idiom: the song, with wonderful melody, tension and drive, was a great hit, and very popular with dancers. Kabaka made a point of telling me how proud he was that he was able to draw on the musical traditions of his people in developing a music with national appeal....

John Low -1982
 A History of Kenyan Guitar Music 1945-1980



The Sound

 

W. John Ondolo Kerena

Unknown Thum Nyatiti Solo

Dick Ngoye Elias Odede

Francis Macharia Wanjiru Wanjiru

Unknown Chemirocha

Herbert Misango Wazee Wa Kisa

Wiliamu Osale Vijana Niambie

Humphrey Eshitool Safari Kibosho

Daudi Kabaka
 & George Agade
Western Shilo

John Mwale Shirikisho La Afrika

Fadhili William
 & The Black Shadows
Malaika

Peter Tsotsi 
& Nashil Pichen
Mulofwa Mmoja

Jim Lasco Baba Kumbuka

 Jim Lasco Wanajiita Sisi Wahumi

 Isaya Mwinamo Ukosefu Wa Kazi

 Isaya Mwinamo Lipa Kodi Ya City Council

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Luo Roots - musical currents from western Kenya


neo-traditional Benga collection from the early nineties
focusing on Kapere Jazz Band and their collaborations with the nyatiti legend  Ogwang Lelo K' Okoth
and  with Paddy J Onono under the name of  Orchestra Nyanza Success
a certain success...

Kapere Jazz Band : William Owidi Jakapere, orutu (vièle), singer 
Polycap Otieno Ofuo, ogengo, singer
Nathaniel Ohindo, ariaga (bottle of Fanta), singer
John Ouma, nyangile, singer
Michael Owiti, singer.
Orchestra Nyanza Success : Paddy J Onono, guitare, singer
William Owidi "Jakapere", orutu ; John Ouma, nyangi le. 
Ogwang Lelo K' Okoth : Nyatiti

01-Kapere Jazz Band-Jadiyana Mageno
02-Ogwang Lelo Okoth-Jacob Omolo
03-Kapere Jazz Band-Nath Oindo
04-Kapere Jazz Band-Lando Nyajomere
05-Kapere Jazz Band-Amagy Lando
06-Kapere Jazz Band-Tuni Nyamwalo
07-Ogwang Lelo Okoth-John Wanga
08-Kapere Jazz Band-Samwel Adina
09-Kapere Jazz Band-Amisi Jamoko
10-Kapere Jazz Band-Akinyi Nyagi Essy
11-Paddy J Onono-Lynette

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lucas Wamiya



                            Pure Luo nyatiti 
                        from Lucas Wamiya
                    for the next 32  joyful minutes



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hukwe Ubi Zawose & Werema Masiaga Chacha



That voice still twists and ululates and induces tears in listeners;
 it is still tragic and hopeful all at once;
 it is still the voice of 120 Tanzanian tribes,
 uniting into one living, breathing whole.  

                                                                         Matt Ozga

Hukwe Ubi Zawose

and
 Werema Masiaga Chacha

in
 Wagogo and Kuria Songs

Come my child and listen to me well.
Oh, let’s go together through the whole world,
Oh, let’s go together everywhere in Africa
 Let’s all follow light and peace together
                                                                                             Dunia 



 

Monday, January 23, 2017