Originally part of the Congolese group African Jazz, Manu Dibango has enjoyed a colourful and distinguished career. A onetime collaborator with Fela Kuti and Herbie Hancock, the Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player has also lent his musical talents to various film scores, notably the OST to Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène’s seminal film, Ceddo.
Hitting the shelves in the shape of a reissue via Africa Seven, we have the pleasure of premiering the captivating, but potentially misleading title track/album opener. An excerpt from a scene that ends in tragedy, the laid-back rhythms and cheery vibraphone seem quite out of place. Swaggering like the offspring of a Spaghetti Western soundtrack and Roy Ayers at his smoothest, it’s a strange choice of tone in contrast to the soundtracks of traditional European and American cinema. Maybe it’s a reference to those American classics, as the dusty African plains on display aren’t too dissimilar from your typical Wild West backdrop.