Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1082

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Review

Matata : Wanna Do My Thing The Complete President Recordings

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9

6.0

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UK release date 13.01.2017

I have to admit I'd never heard of the Kenyan band Matata, so it was with fresh ears and some healthy curiosity that I have now discovered their unique fusion of Afrobeat,Afrofunk,Hi Life and Soul music all bound together with infectious energy and I love it!The band did their main body of work (all included here) in the early 70's and were once hailed as the best band in Africa by the BBC World Service.Not only were they a mish mash of styles but also of languages too, often singing in Mijiikenda,Lingala,Swahili and English.This is rootsy stuff!

Matata have been released on various Afrofunk compilations but now here on two cds are their complete works featuring a brass section,with the formidable Dudu Pukwana (remember Zila anyone?) and Mongezi Feza.These two South African exiles from the Blue Notes were incidentally,also members of another almost unkwown Afro band that was made up of South African and Nigerian musicians. However I digress, suffice to say cuts such as the scintillating 'Wanna Do My Thing', 'I Feel Funky' and 'Talkin Talkin','Good Good Understanding' are worth it for the double cd price alone.Another treasure trove awaiting to be opened by a new generation who will no doubt be equally enthralled as I most certainly am!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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