Ave Africa: The Complete Recordings 1973-1976

Ave Africa: The Complete Recordings 1973-1976

by Sunburst

CD(Jewel Case / with Booklet)

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Ave Africa: The Complete Recordings 1973-1976

Strut's 2016 release Ave Africa collects the complete recorded works of Sunburst, a Tanzanian band influenced by several African traditions as well as Western music styles such as rock and funk. The group's members were born in different countries and spoke different languages, and their music had a very diverse range, encompassing blues, soul, jazz, and Latin music. They originally formed in the early '70s as a cover band, playing tunes by the likes of James Brown and Santana. As they began writing original compositions, their lyrics reflected themes of black pride, unity, and freedom, with titles such as "Black Is Beautiful" and "Enzi Za Utumwani" ("Slavery Days"). The group's only full-length studio recording, Ave Africa, was actually recorded late in their career, and wasn't released until 1977 as the band was breaking up. Despite having a few hit singles and being regarded as one of the nation's best bands, they barely made any money and couldn't afford to continue as a band. The songs on Ave Africa are as strong as they are diverse, with joyous, empowering numbers fitting alongside aching soul and blues ballads, and complex yet easily flowing full-band arrangements incorporating trombone, violin, and electric keyboards. Opening instrumental "Kitoto Sound" (the group's description of their style) is bright and jubilant, with polyrhythmic percussion interacting with funky guitar licks, trombone, and organ. "Your Day Will Come" has a perky guitar line that comes close to sounding like ska, and the lyrics joyfully proclaim that "music makes you smile." The compilation's second disc compiles the group's singles (issued between 1973 and 1976 by Kenyan label Moto Moto and Tanzanian imprint TFC) as well as the 1973 Tanzanian radio session that launched the group to stardom. The recordings are vibrant, with clear sound and adventurous production touches. Reverb adds a bit of depth to songs like "Kipato Sina," and the instruments (particularly the drums and keyboards) have a sizzle to them. These sessions seem to accurately represent the group's live powers. After listening to the entire collection and reading the liner notes, one can't help but admire Sunburst; they had great songs and were incredible, versatile musicians.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/2016
Label: Strut Records
UPC: 0730003312823
catalogNumber: 128
Rank: 213968

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sunburst   Primary Artist
Eric Allendale   Trombone
John Rocks   Drums
James Mpungo   Vocals,Background Vocals
Hembi Kongo   Guitar
Tito Mwiru   Percussion,Background Vocals
John Cockin   Violin,Viola
Bashir Idi Farhan   Violin,Conga,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Kazadi Mbiya   Bass,Conga,Vocals,Background Vocals
Kassim Rajab Magati   Organ,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Kalimba
Katako Lubula   Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Eric Allendale   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Sunburst   Composer,Producer
Nikki Ashley   Producer
Trevor Ford   Cover Design,Back Cover
Peter Bagshawe   Back Cover,Sleeve Notes
Thomas Gesthuizen   Sleeve Notes
James Mpungo   Composer
Hembi Kongo   Composer
Dave Tinning   Sleeve Notes
Kazadi Mbiya   Arranger
Kassim Rajab Magati   Arranger,Composer
Katako Lubula   Arranger

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