Bilongo: A Third Collection Of Modern Afro Rythms

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The third installment in the French label Comet's Modern Afro Rhythms series, Bilongo, like the earlier entries (Racubah! and Ouelele), compiles vintage-1970s and early-1980s sides from artists who practice an African-based fusion of jazz and funk with Latin and cosmopolitan grooves. The two lead tracks here really set the train rolling, with Eko's "Kilimanjaro My Home," and the Kelenkye Band's "Jungle Music" taking slightly different paths to the same river of funk. The third cut, Richard Raux and Hamsa's "A Coltrane," is simply stunning, and is the clear standout on an album of strong pieces. Ephraim Nezka's almost-disco version of Fela Kuti's classic "Zombie" is another high point here. Comet really should do a box set of the three titles in this delightful series, but until then, pick them up individually, because all three carry rare and wonderful tracks that shouldn't be missed.

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