Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Boma - Liwanza

Not sure where I found this LP on the Valdene Records label from the 80's I would guess. Nice soukous from West Africa.

Peter Toll reports:

"Jim Monimambo must have come to Kenya in the mid 1970s. He might have arrived there in 1975 with Kalombo Mwanza's Orch. Basanga, a band that also included Tabu Batchalinge Ogolla and Loboko Pasi who joined Orch. Boma Liwanza soon after getting to Nairobi. Apparently Orch. Basanga fell apart upon arrival because this is what Loboko Pasi said in an article in The Nation (June 17, 2006):

"I had heard about Franco's tours to Kenya and how he would attract crowds in Nairobi and Kisumu. I was very excited about the tour. I had also heard that Nairobi was the London of East Africa, the land of milk and honey. If I couldn't get to London, I told myself, Nairobi would do," adds Pasi.
¶ The tour was to take Orchestra Basanga through Uganda and Tanzania followed by a grand performance in Nairobi before returning home. So after a rather lukewarm reception in Uganda and a low-key performance in Tanzania, the band, led by Kalombo Mwanza, set out for Nairobi. However, somewhere along the way, internal rifts developed over money after the tour's sponsor took off with the little cash that had been realised.
¶ "That was a trying time for me. I was among the band's youngest members, it was my first foreign tour and there we were, splitting. I wondered how I would find my way back home with no money," recalls Pasi.
¶When they got to Nairobi, the band split up and it was every man for himself. With no tools of trade, no person to turn to, Pasi wandered in the streets of Nairobi, hoping to meet a Congolese who he would share his problems with.
¶"I did not even have a guitar to perform on the streets to raise money for food".
¶For almost a month, Pasi had to beg to survive. The paradise in Nairobi was elusive.
¶"It was not London to me any more. There was no milk, no honey, not even bread crumbs. I was starving, I needed something to do to get food," recalls Pasi.
¶After knowing his way around town, Pasi joined a Congolese band by the name Boma Liwanza.
"I just introduced myself and they allowed me to perform with them although they doubted my abilities. I proved myself and they accepted me officially," he says.

In the mid 1970s Monimambo became a singer with Boma Liwanza and a popular one. In 1976 he even started to record with his own band Special Liwanza - which was probably just a studio band made up of members of Boma Liwanza. It seems Jim was still with Boma Liwanza in 1979 when he wrote one of their big hits, "Milimani".

However, around the same time he also started performing with George Kalombo Mwanza's new band Viva Makale and that's where he sang with a Zairean artist who had just returned from Tanzania, Moreno Batambo. Soon after, the two started a new band, Shika Shika, but unfortunately, Moreno wanted to be his own boss, so he moved within a year to form Moja One. I believe Orch. Shika Shika was formed in 1980, the year Moreno's "Maisha Ya Mjini" was recorded."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Mono
2. Sina mambo
3. Bilobela

Boma-Liwanza - Side One

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