Various Artists - Zanzibara Vol.5 (Hot In Dar Tanzania 1978-83) (Music CD)

Release Date: 07 September 2009
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This stunningly beautiful album documents the febrile dance music scene that bubbled in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam in the late '70s and early '80s. Only three bands are represented on this ten-track program, and while there is a certain amount of stylistic variety in evidence, there are also some very clear threads of stylistic commonality: the cascading, descending guitar parts; the almost clinically tight vocal harmonies; the rich horn charts; the gentle but insistently bumping drum parts. While true highlights are a bit hard to pinpoint on an album this consistently fine, the Mlimani Park Orchestra does edge out the Dar International Orchestra in terms of both vocal sweetness and instrumental sophistication. The former's "Visa Vimenichosha" is particularly gorgeous, a swaying, bouncing, loping masterpiece of graceful guitar parts and intricately woven vocals whose eight-minute length passes like two; their "Talaka Ya Hasira" features particularly lovely lead vocals. Dar International's "Uzuri Wa Asili," on the other hand, is also very pretty but just a bit too static -- its "Louie, Louie" chord progression gets old well before the song's nine-minute length has passed. Overall, though, this is a brilliant collection of gems from a time and place that deserve many more such compilations. ~ Rick Anderson
Release Date: 07 September 2009

1. Visa Vimenichosha [I Am Tired of This Story]
2. Baba Anna
3. Kassim Amefilisika [Kassim Has Gone Bankrupt]
4. Rufani Ya Kifo [Appeal Against Death]
5. Taxi Driver
6. Talaka Ya Hasira [a Divorce In Anger]
7. Uzuri Wa Asili [Natural Beauty]
8. Nawashukuru Wazazi Wangu [Thanks To My Parents
9. Nilitaka Iwe Siri [I Wanted It To Be Our Secret]
10. Mwana Acha Ujinga [Stop Behaving Like a Fool]

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Catalogue No: 860184