Dahomey (1952)

In 1952, Pierre Verger, the famous Photographer and Ethnologist, took those pictures (the sleeve too) of Egun ceremony in Benin. Egun is a mask.

A dead spirit who's coming back behind costume, music, song, dance, advices and judgments for living people. The recording is from Gilbert Rouget, the great musical ethnologist who worked during a long period in Benin.

Harmonie Voltaique (Burkina-Faso/1978)

The group was founded by Antoine Ouedraogo in I948. They were the first group created to play "modern music" in what was then the French West African colony of Upper-Volta.


These singles were composed by Henri Tabsoba who integrated the band in I966. During the sixties, the group started to perform songs in "Moore" (the language of the Mossi people).

T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo: O+O= (1983)

Very nice Poly-Rythmo compilation i think  released after the death in 1982 of the two composers of the band, Papillon, the guitarist, and Yehouessi Leopold, the drummer. Dossou Gilbert aka Prince Dgib's produced this LP which was distributed in France.

Très bon album du Poly-Rythmo. Je pense que c'est une compilation sortie après la mort de deux figures du groupe: Papillon, le guitariste et Yehouessi Leopold, le batteur. Ils sont d’ailleurs tous les deux compositeurs de l'album qui a été produit par Dossou Gilbert alias Prince Dgib's pour une distribution française.

Professeur Bylledey (1983)

Wonderfull and hypnotic title "Adieu Papillon" dedicated to Papillon, the guitarist of Poly-Rythmo's band who tragically died in 1982. Bylledey Guissey was singing a lot with Poly-Rythmo before returning to traditional music and its education. Great personality.

Sublime titre traditionnel et hypnotique en hommage à Papillon, le guitariste de l'orchestre Poly-Rythmo décédé tragiquement en 1982. Bylledey Guissey a chanté de nombreuses fois avec le Poly avant de se retirer dans la musique traditionnel et son enseignement. Grande personnalité.

Jean Bittard (Mali/1982)

Jean Bittard was half Lebanon half Malian. He was the son of a Lebanese father and a Malian mother from Kayes". He used to be with Sidi Yassa, the regional orchestra of Kayes.


Jean Bittard était un chanteur moitié libanais moitié Malien. Son père était libanais et sa mère malienne de Kayes. Il aurait commencé sa carrière avec l'orchestre Régional de Kayes.

T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo & Loko Pierre (1978)

This album was composed by the saxophonist player of the band, Loko Pierre. It was edited on Albarika Store label in 1978. I particulary enjoy the beautiful gazzo rhyhtm tune "Super Yao Bebenon" sung by a super Eskill Lohento.

Cet album a été composé par le saxophniste du groupe, Pierre Loko. Il a été édité sur le label Albarika en 1978. J'aime particulièrement le rythme gazzo du titre "Super Yao Bebenon" chanté par un super Eskill Lohento.


Sam Fan Thomas & Orchestre Black Santiago (Cameroon/1978)

Sam Fan Thomas is a cameroonian musician associated with Makossa rhythm. He began his career during the late 60's and knew his first hit with "Rikiatou". Then his "African Typic collection" would be an international hit in 1984. Perhaps his best known album. This older one was recorded in Benin in 1978 with the Black Santiago's. Very original album.

Sam Fan Thomas est un artitse camerounais associé au rythme makossa. Il commence sa carrière durant les années 60s et connait son premier succès avec le morceau "Rikiatou". Puis son "African Typic Collection" sera une tube international en 1984. Surement son album le plus connu. Celui-ci, plus ancien, a été enregistré au Bénin avec l'orchestre Black Santiago en 1978. Album très original.


Youssou N'Dour et Le Super Etoile de Dakar (Senegal/1983)

In 1979, he formed his own ensemble, the Etoile de Dakar. His early work with the group, in the Latin style, was popular all over Africa during that time.

In the 1980s, he developed a unique sound with his ultimate group, Super Étoile de Dakar featuring Jimi M'Baye on guitar, bassist Habib faye, and Tama (talking drum) player Assane Thiam.

T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo & Vicky Amenoudji (1978)

Poly-Rythmo's record sung and composed by Vicky Amenoudji in 1978.

45 tours du Poly-Rythmo chanté et composé par Vicky Amenoudji en 1978.

Gnonnas Pedro & His Dadjes Band (1979)

Gnonnas Pedro was also an actor of the "afrobeat" movement. Recorded in 1979 this agbadja modern rhythm single is, through its lyrics, a support of General Mathieu Kerekou's politic (back cover's picture) which was influensed by communism and make Dahomey become, in 1972, the Popular Republic of Benin.


Gnonnas Pedro fut aussi un vibrant acteur du mouvement "afrobeat". Enregistré en 1979 ce single de rythme agbadja moderne rend un hommage appuyé au Général Mathieu Kerekou (voir dos de la pochette) qui transforma le Dahomey en République Populaire du Bénin c’est à dire une république marxiste.


Sunny Black's Band (1968)

Sunny Black's band became Poly-Rythmo in 1969. This record must have bee recorded in 1968. Clément Mélomé comosed and sung.

Sunny Black's Band est devenu l'orchestre Poly-Rythmo en 1969. Je pense que ce disque a été enregistré en 1968. Clément Mélomé chante et compose.


Anniversary Post: ALBARIKA & ADJAHOUI: 001

This is the first production and recording, in 1969, from Albarkia Store and Yedenou Adjahoui. As always Adjahoui sings in Goun, a language from the Goun people of Porto Novo. But he also sings, on face B, in Mina, from the ouest of Benin, in Aneho. Many traditional singers were singing in different languages that's how Adjahoui become so popular...
The Picture has been taken in 1969 by Gilbert Rouget, the famous musicologist who recorded many ceremonies. The girl is a Vodoun adept of Dikwin, a rare Vodoun from Goun People.
I never saw them during my shootings in Porto-Novo.

Amadou Ballake (Burkina Faso/1980)

I Particulary like this rare single from Amadou Ballaké recorded in 1980. To describe this recording let's read worldservice description:

One of the great things about Ballaké is his diversity and his capacity to shine in any musical style. While SCD 68 contains Mandé (malinke, mandingo etc.) style songs, SCD 69 has two tracks in a very different, probably Mossi style. The song "Warba" always conjures up images of people walking backwards, while "Liguiry" evokes the contrary: a feeling of running (too) fast down a hill....

Gnonnas Pedro & His Dadjes Band Vol.4 (1978)

Rare 1978's recording from Gnonnas Pedro and His Dadjes. This 4th volume contains famous french Charles Aznavour's hit "Bon Anniversaire". Gnonnas Pedro used to be the only singer authorized by Aznavour to interpret his repertory.

Album rare de Gnonnas Pedro et Ses Dadjes enregisté en 1978. Ce volume 4 contient le fameux morceau de Charles Aznavour: "Bon Anniversaire". Gnonnas était le seul artiste authorisé par Aznavour lui-même à interprété son répertoire.