Sam Mangwana, legendary in African music, was a star vocalist with the Congo's greatest big bands. Franco and Tabu Ley called him the best singer to have ever come out of Kinshasa in the Congo. His unique style draws its strength from his travels around Africa and the resulting influence of musical colors and takes. This album contains some of his older favorites and some new material. "Fati Mata" is one of his trademark songs, almost seven minutes of pure rhumba bliss. The horn riffs and percussion play off the fine vocal of Mangwana. You can't top this for African rhumba. "Senegal" is another classic rhumba from the mother lode. With the exception of three tracks, all of the backing is from Mangwana's very tight African All Stars. The three tracks recorded in New York have members of the Fania All Stars infusing serious Latin clave into the mix. Pure rhumba and salsa delivered with great style and poise. Rhumba music reclaimed and still very potent. Just listen to the first seven minutes of this jewel of an album. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Romano