#45Friday – Trio Madjesi

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Today being #45Friday (on Fridays folks on Twitter and Instagram share pics of their favorite 7″ 45rpm records) it gives me the perfect opportunity to share one of my favorite 7″ singles from the past year—Trio Madjesi et Orcestre Sosoliso’s Tshitsha. Trio Madjesi were one of the slew of “youth groups” that Zaire was churring out in the late 60s-early 70s. The trio of singers emerged out of Verkey’s group Orchestere Vévé  and who’s name Madjesi was formed from combining their own nick names: Matadidi, Djeskain, and Sinatra. As you’ll notice it didn’t end with combining of names. This may be one of the few song you’ll hear combining Spanish, Lingala and English in one amazing soukous track – just wait until the 3:30 mark.


In 1969 James Brown made the historic trip to Zaire where he performed several shows in Kinshasa that was originally apart of the promotion of the Muhammad Ali vs George Forman “Rumble in the Jungle” fight. Those shows had a huge impact on the many young performers like Trio Madjesi. Check out this awesome 25 minute clip from 1973 TV appearance where you can easily see how they incorporated a lot of James Brown’s show style performance. My favorite part comes half way through when they perform in the full Zaire national team football kit while juggling a ball—or rather try to (you recall Zaire qualified the only time in their history for the 1974 World Cup where they didn’t fair so well.) Enjoy!


Golden Sounds

Sorry for the silence, and thanks to Posoule and especially Mister 3000 for holding it down in our absence.

Did you know that La Pelanga takes requests? (Ok, only if we like them and we have them, heheh.) Just drop us an email or leave a comment on any post. César asked me to post the original version of Shakira’s World Cup hit “Waka Waka”, and I’m happy to do that. Click here to watch the video of Golden Sounds’s “Zangalewa”.

Much has been said about FIFA’s choice of a Latina over soooo many talented African musicians, and about Shakira’s (cover/tribute/appropriation)? of this great song. (I’m sure she grew up hearing it in the radio like I did.) Google and ye shall find. Here is a good post by Boima about it.


But what I was really excited about when I picked up this record was the B-side, which contains a version of Edmond Tigui’s “Ekang”: a true Pelanga classic (on Juancho’s beautiful and beautifully titled “La Pelanga v.2”.) and one of the craziest 45s I’ve ever heard/seen. How many times do you have to hear this to understand where the rhythm is going?

Ekang by Golden Sounds


So Posoule, here’s my request: give us the original!


“Jabulani”, Abdullah Ibrahim


One of the controversies at this year’s World Cup in South Africa (beside the horrendous officiating) has been the ball, known as the Jabulani, Zulu for rejoice. Strikers hate it, goalkeepers find it unpredictable, and even the all-powerful and usually clueless FIFA has decided it will look into the issue once the tournament ends. The ball has been called “capricious” and likened to “a crazy gerbil.” Luis Fabiano, Brazil’s top goal scorer, said of the Jabulani: “It’s very weird. It’s like it doesn’t want to be kicked.” Maybe that’s why he felt he had to use his hands to control the ball and score against Ivory Coast.

I’m no Luis Fabiano, but I did play with a Jabulani last weekend, and can attest to the fact that it seemed a litte light. A friend told me about a game on Sunday here in Oakland where the ball spiralled off the crossbar, bounced over a fence, and then over the eight-lane highway beside the field. Clearly, something is amiss.

Naturally, I turned to music for an explanation, and remembered this track from Abdullah Ibrahim’s beautiful 1977 album “The Journey”, recorded live at Alice Tully Hall in New York. Ibrahim, whom you may also know as Dollar Brand, is one of South Africa’s true jazz heroes, and he assembled an all-star band for this show, including trumpet great Don Cherry, baritone player Hamiet Bluiett (co-founder of the World Saxophone Quartet), and one of my favorite bassists, Johnny Dyani. All were in fine form that night. The complete track is about 18 minutes long, but I’m only posting a five minute excerpt so that you might understand a bit about this ball. If you haven’t watched a game of the World Cup yet, and are wondering what the hell I’m talking about: this song pretty much describes what the ball does.

As an added bonus, I think I can hear the pleasing drone of a vuvuzela or two at the end… Or maybe, after 50+ matches, it’s just ringing in my ears.

Jabulani by Abdullah Ibrahim


música y fútbol,





¡Latinos Presente!


Today, (6/25/10), the group stage of the World Cup concluded with 6.1 of the 7.1 Latin countries advancing to the final 16/octovos. (Yes the USA counts as .1 for having José Tores in their squad). If only Honduras could have squeaked their way in, but none the less this has been a magnificent showing for the rest of Latin America: Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay. During the past week this song by El General has been in constant rotation in my headphones. Sorry Shakira, but this is still the greatest World Cup song of all time. Enjoy!

Latinos A Ganar by El General

Latinos A Ganar

In 2014 we will likely see even a greater Latino/Carribean presence with Brazil being awarded an automatic place as hosts. Juancho y Papicultor already have their eyes on that extra spot for Peru and Colombia. And don’t forget La Copa América kickoffs in just 1 year! (July 3, 2011)





Viva L’Italia


I have nothing against Italians, but I do have something against their national team, and catenaccio, the oppressively boring style of fútbol they play. I don’t like that they tend to rely on nasty, brutish players like Gattuso, and truthfully, I’m still not over what happened in the 2006 final. So, naturally, I watched with barely restrained glee as they lost today to a hard-working Slovakian squad, and were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup. Thank you, Slovakia, for sparing the rest of us! I’m too young to remember the 1982 World Cup, (which Italy won), but I do remember watching the first game of the 1986 tournament, Italy vs. Bulgaria. After Bulgaria scored their goal, I remember my uncle Pepe, who expected great things from Italy, clapped his hands together and said, “Ahora sí vamos a ver lo que es el fútbol!” (Now we’re really going to see what soccer is!) Which we didn’t, of course. The Italians, content with a draw, ran out the clock.

Anyway, this is a children’s record celebrating that 1982 victory, with lyrics and music as insipid as a Serie B match… I’d like to hear a remake after this tournament, hehehehe.

Viva L’italia by Life Featuring Pino Cea

Viva L’italia

— juancho

“Asante Kotoko”, Pat Thomas

photo: Kumasi Daily

Back in 1998, I was a student at the University of Ghana in Legon, studying African religion, playwrighting, Colonial history, and Islam, while also dealing with the intense heat, and the fact that no one seemed to believe an American was interested in or could play soccer. I went out on the pitch only once in my five months there, ran up and down the field for an hour, wilting in the sun, calling for the ball to no avail. No one bothered to cover me, perhaps because they knew I’d never get a pass. It was as if I were completely invisible. (Oddly, on the basketball court, the Ghanaians showed me deference I did not deserve, as if by virtue of being American I somehow magically had a mean crossover…) Still, I hold no grudges, and am posting this Pat Thomas song “Asante Kotoko” in support of the Ghanaian side in their very difficult match with Germany tomorrow. Asante Kotoko (seen above celebrating a goal) is the club team from Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, capital of the Ashantis. Like most African sides (and Latin American sides too), the majority of the Ghanaian national team now play in Europe; but most got their start in the local  league, and a few once proudly wore the red jersey of Asante Kotoko. The complete version of this track is fifteen minutes long, but here’s a five minute groove for your enjoyment…

Asante Kotoko by Pat Thomas

Asante Kotoko

— juancho

“Cumbia a México”, Combo Moderno


Everyone here at La Pelanga has been a little caught up with the World Cup, so we haven’t been posting all that much. Watching six hours of fútbol a day gets in the way of a lot of things. Having said that, the best of the tournament still lies ahead, including the last matches of the group round, which begin tomorrow. High drama, people. I’m dedicating this Pelanga post to the Mexican national team — EL TRI — who play tomorrow morning (Cali time) against Uruguay, and who showed mad huevos last week against France.

This track from El Combo Moderno says it all: Cumbia a México!


Cumbia A México by Combo Moderno

Cumbia A México

— juancho