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Songs for the Poor Man
     

Songs for the Poor Man

by Remmy Ongala
 
An enduring presence in East African music, the Congo-born Remmy Ongala produces propulsive soukous-based music, and that music, anchored by his band, Orchestre Super Matimila, is made all the more compelling by his searing look at African, especially Tanzanian, society. (Ongala settled in Dar es Salaam in the 1960s.) Poverty and hunger, oppression and war,

Overview

An enduring presence in East African music, the Congo-born Remmy Ongala produces propulsive soukous-based music, and that music, anchored by his band, Orchestre Super Matimila, is made all the more compelling by his searing look at African, especially Tanzanian, society. (Ongala settled in Dar es Salaam in the 1960s.) Poverty and hunger, oppression and war, love and death: None escape Ongala's keen eye on 1989's SONGS FOR THE POOR MAN, the asrtist's first recording for Real World. Of death ("Kifo") Ongala is unafraid, but he is bitter: "I can't find the words / The tears fall down my face / Because of you, Death." A wife finds only isolation in a celebrated marriage (on "Dole," which means "okay"): "...In front he put a gate / With a guard, and dogs!" Suffering informs all aspects of life, Ongala seems to say, but all is not bleak. On the irresistible "Pamella," Ongala prescribes a beauty parlor as a refuge from marital strife: "It's a good retreat at Pamella's salon." As Ongala sings, you dance and dance. And you realize, after you've been twirling and stomping your feet to Ongala and his band's rhythms, why the man is a star.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bob Tarte
This Tanzanian take on soukous is as restrained as the Zairian form is hedonistic. Ongala's songs on social themes are delivered with winning conviction.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/1993
Label:
Real World
UPC:
0017046230520
catalogNumber:
62305

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Remmy Ongala   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Hasani Ayas Ayas   Guitar
Muhidini Kisukari Haji   Guitar
Matu Dikundia Hassan   Saxophone
Saidi Salum Jumaine   Conga
Keito Kiniki   Vocals
Lawrence Chuki Limbanga   Drums
Matimila   Percussion
Freddy Sengula Mwlash   Guitar
Orchestre Super Matimila   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Remmy Ongala   Arranger,Producer
David Bottrill   Producer,Engineer
Kevin Metcalfe   Engineer
Thomas Brooman   Liner Notes
Basil Anderson   Producer

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