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Doug Paterson's Music Projects...

Virunga Roots Volume 1 (available from CDBaby.com)

When Samba started the "Nairobi sessions" in late 1988, I had known him a couple of years. He invited me to watch the recording process at the CBS / Andrew Crawford studio in Nairobi. It was February, 1989 when I came as a guest observer. They were still using the CBS 16 track machine with its two inch wide tape. Nevertheless, it was without doubt the best studio in East Africa at the time. The four tracks were finished up within the next few months and I thought they sounded great. Nevertheless, they were never released in Kenya. They were too short for an LP and Samba had some ideas of going to Paris to work with some of the great Zairean session musicians residing there.

Off to Paris he went and by good fortune, when I visited Paris in August, 1989, I again had the chance to watch the recording process for what became known as the "Paris sessions". This was a new direction for Samba, applying the Parisian soukous sound to a mix of old songs and new numbers. These did emerge as cassette recording in Nairobi: Samba Mapangala in Paris (Editions D'Ivoire IVAMC 40 071). Unfortunately, none of this work came out on CD but for a couple of the Parisian tracks on Samba's 1997 release Vunja Mifupa (Clifford Lugard Productions, LUSAM 01). I was delighted when Samba asked me to put together a CD based around the Nairobi-Paris sessions. In this project, I sequenced and mastered Virunga Roots Volume 1. It was interesting to me and a pleasant surprise how well the Nairobi and Paris recordings flow from one to another without any sense of abrupt change despite the fact that they actually sound quite different in terms of instrumentation and beat.


East African Music - African Radio

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To contact Douglas Paterson, send email to DPaterson@EastAfricanMusic.com.

Last updated 30 December, 2008.


Copyright 1996-2008 Douglas B. Paterson, All Rights Reserved.