« I’m going to talk about the birth of modern music in Africa in relation to cities, because cities have been vectors for fusion and modernity throughout the twentieth century. And if African music has become so successful worldwide, it’s because a few decades before it made breakthroughs in African cities. Today I’m going to talk about Kinshasaa, Dakar, Conhakry, Bamako, Ouadagoudou, Luanda, Addis Abeba and other places in Africa.
To begin with, I’d like to say that a bolero by Franco1, the great Congolese artist that some of you already know, is as valuable as a painting by Picasso.
I’d like to put what I say in a historical and geographical perspective, and show how these African cities, just like certain American cities such as Memphis and Chicago, crystallized, at a certain point, this collusion of rural musical forms that collided with the electric cities because that’s where the recording studios were, as well as the radio stations and record companies that could promote the recordings. My talk will be punctuated by musical excerpts: we’ll be going on a musical journey so that I can tell you the story of the twentieth century in Africa… »
1. Born in 1938 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), François Luambo Makiadi, known as Franco, was a living legend. He died in 1989 at the age of 51.
- ET Mensah Ghana Freedom (Ghana),
- African Jazz Independance Cha Cha (Congo)
- Franco & OK Jazz Bazonzele Mama Ana (Congo)
- Belita Palma Caminho do Mato (Angola)
- Os Kiezos Saudades de Luanda (Angola)
- Bembeya Jazz Armée Guinéenne (Guinée)
- Sory Kandia Kouyaté Conakry (Guinée)
- Rail Band Gansana (Mali)
- Amadou Ballaké Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina)
- Pierre Sandwidi Ouaga Affairs (Burkina)
- Tabu Ley Rochereau Bel Abidjan (Congo/Côte d’Ivoire)
- Alèmayèhu Eshètè Addis Abeba Bètè (Ethiopie)
- Fela & Africa 70 Monday Morning in Lagos (Nigeria)
- J.-M Tim Foty Douala By Night (Cameroun)
- Etoile 2000 Boubou N’gary (Sénégal)
- Maître Gazonga & International Chalal Jaloux Saboteurs (Tchad/Côte d’Ivoire)
- Sandwidi Pierre et l’Orchestre Super Volta, Yamb Ney Capitale
Mélomane et collectionneur, photographe et écrivain, Florent Mazzoleni est l’auteur d’une vingtaine de livres abordant les musiques populaires des deux rives atlantiques. Il vient notamment de publier Afro-pop, l’âge d’or des grands orchestres africains, Mali, musiques modernes et traditionnelles, Burkina Faso, musiques modernes voltaïques et Ghana Highlife Music parus au Castor Astral.
Bibliographie sélective :
- Salif Keita, la Voix du Mandingue, Demi Lune, coll. Voix du Monde, oct. 2009
- Motown, Soul et Glamour, Serpent à plumes, oct. 2009
- L’Épopée de la musique africaine, Hors Collection, 2008
- Memphis, aux racines du rock et de la soul, Castor Astral, 2006
- James Brown, l’Amérique noire, la soul et le funk, Hors Collection, 2005