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Tala A.M. / African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978 / Africa Seven

Test Pressing, Reviews, Dr Rob, Cameroon, Manu Dibango, Tala A.M., African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978, Africa Seven

Cameroon-born Parisian Andre-Marie Tala, blind and orphaned by the age of 12, formed his first band at 17. Much of his music bears the influence of his homeland`s musical hero and Tala`s eventual mentor, Manu Dibango (it was with Dibango that Tala travelled to Paris) in its wah wah fueled Funk and horn-led Disco. “Black Gold”, taken from “Arabica”, recorded in 1978, an LP which contributes two further cuts to this compilation, in particular goes off like Dibango`s “Sun Explosion”. The exuberant bounce of “Arabica” itself is irresistible. Cowbell encourages pre-House 4 / 4s, rolling pianos, funky clavs, George Benson-like scat and twisting Moogs. An influential musician in his own right nonetheless Tala`s “Hot Koki” “inspired” James Brown to write “The Hustle”. Brown coped the Cameroonian`s lick when they shared the bill at entertainments held for Ali & Foreman`s “Rumble In The Jungle, resulting in Brown being successfully sued. Nine of the ten tracks presented continue a frantic pace from start to near finish, none more so than “Tcham Tcham” (one of the four titles included from 1976`s “Black Woman”), which was re-edited not so long ago by the Keyboard Masher crew for Daphni`s Resista label. The joyful vibes and acoustic guitar of the closing “Mwouop” (the sole selection from Tala`s self-titled 1975 debut) however could double for Francis Bebey`s light and playful touch.

Test Pressing, Reviews, Dr Rob, Cameroon, Manu Dibango, Tala A.M., African Funk Experimentals 1975 to 1978, Africa Seven

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