Soon to come on the always inspiring Strut
imprint is "Ave Africa - The Kitoto Sound Of East Africa 1973 - 1976", a retrospective album covering the named musical era and output of Tanzania's well-famed, yet short lived band Sunburst which indeed did split up right at the point where the outfits debut album "Ave Africa" was released in 1976. But nonetheless, this one album is the legacy of this six piece outfit and it's a big one for sure. Influenced by Soul, Funk, Blues and original R'n'B of the 60s we see Sunburst emulate these styles in a very unique way, emphasizing the drum aspect of the music in weaving in traditional tribalisms as well as Calypso elements and call-and-response passages taken from or at least reminiscent of age-old African chants. Mixing these elements up with a hint of Psychedelia intrinsic to music of this era this is what makes "Ave Africa" an album worthwhile of being re-introduced to a broader public, especially for tunes like the fascinatingly touching slow jam "Ani Uni", the killer Psychedelic Funk of "Alhamdullilah" or the more uplifting multi-layered vocalist piece "Wakulu Wa Kuno". Furthermore CD2 of this journey into the African past musicwise caters a collection of ten 45rpm single tracks recorded for the Kenya-based Moto Moto label as well as for the government owned Tanzania Film Corporation / TFC which nicely showcases how the bands sound evolved and refined over the course of three years, as it features both raw and untamed bits like "Simba Anguruma", slightly Caribbean influenced, sometimes a little kitsch-covered pieces like "Kipato Sina", Afrobeat-reminiscing tunes like "Enzi Za Utumwami" or the highly seductive and well-sexy Soul Funk of "Vijana". But what makes this album a real go to for all Sunburst fans and lovers of African music in general are the last seven tunes on CD2 which are recordings of a radio session recorded at Radio Tanzania back in 1973, all of them previously unreleased, only heard on this station and unearthed from the bands scattered archives. Defo one to check out, this is.
Album artwork on Instagram!