Jean Kamwema et ses amis – Cshala Paul

January 5, 2011

We’ll be visiting Africa for a while – I hope it will be enjoyable!

This piece, in the Lingala language of the Congos, was recorded by Hugh Tracey (see the Kankalongo Alidor post for more background on Tracey). While I’m unsure exactly where in the region Tracey recorded this piece, or where Kamwema and his friends hailed from, we do know that Tracey recorded four songs and a couple of demos by the group ca.  January of 1952 (some sources say 1950, but I am not yet convinced). While both sides of this disc are in Lingala, Kamwema also apparently sang songs in Luba and Swahili.

Tracey knew and loved the acoustic guitar music played across Africa, and recorded a significant amount for Gallotone and Tracey’s sister label under Gallo’s wing, Trek. Fellow Congolese guitarist Jean Bosco Mwenda, for instance, recorded dozens of discs on Gallotone, as did the famous guitarist of Bulawayo, George Sibanda. The rate at which these discs turn up, however…well, that’s a familiar refrain.

Enjoy, and welcome to 2011. I am aiming high!

Jean Kamwema et ses amis – Cshala Paul

Technical Notes
Label: Gallotone
Issue Number: GB. 1731 T
Matrix Number: XYZ.7060 T

(The “T” stands for “Tracey,” of course!)

14 Responses to “Jean Kamwema et ses amis – Cshala Paul”

  1. Jed said

    This is a great way to start the year! Thanks!

  2. JW said

    Excellent – thanks, Jed!

  3. […] 1:a januari (att excavated schellac uppdaterar så sällan) så har det ”släppts” en ny låt idag och med […]

  4. reto müller said

    hey jon – this is definitively THE way to tune up a happy new year – good luck!!

    just got your package and gave camille a warm welcomin’ – love it!!

  5. gracenotes said

    Ah – lovely. What a special treat for the New Year. Aiming high sounds good to me!

  6. JW said

    Thank you gracenotes! And thank you Reto – that’s excellent!

  7. Tony Klein said

    What airiness and immediacy, what vitality, can one say more without becoming verbose? Thanks Jon!

  8. JW said

    Thank you, Tony!

  9. I really enjoyed this recorded and look forward to other African acoustic guitar music. That stuff is great.

  10. Kraig Grady said

    Andrew Tracy (one of Hugh’s Son) just retired a few years ago from the International Studies of African music. He was an expert Mbira player himself, first learning as a child.
    Quite interested in that instrument and Ballophones in case you run across them

  11. cultdream said

    I remember hearing an interview with you somewhere, perhaps it was a guest podcast/mix of some sort, for some reason I feel like it relates to poetry but… Regardless I’m glad I remembered about this blog! Great post, this is a good enough reason to start using my RSS reader again haha…

  12. orfy said

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’ve only just discovered your fantastic blog after purchasing the Strings LP today and seeing it mentioned in the sleevenotes. It’s a great listen so far!
    For future releases might you consider providing buyers with a download link for mp3s?
    Much as I love my vinyl, I do so much of my listening on the iPod into work these days.

    Keep up the digging!
    Kind regards,

  13. JW said

    Thanks very much for the kind words and support, JH.

    Not sure yet about downloads, but I am sure the people in charge will take it into consideration!

  14. Clark Lunberry said

    Any thought to adding Excavated Shellac to iTunes as a podcast, with automatic downloads of new material?

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