A short thin man, Nicholas Kasanda wa Mikalay, died in 1985 at the age of 44 in the central African country, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo). In his short and intense life, Dr. Nico, as he was known to his millions of African fans, released hundred of singles, played for Presidents, led (very poorly) his own bands and founded record labels. Quite simply he is regarded as one of the most influential guitar players ever to emerge from Africa, introducing a crystalline tone which was often compared to an electronic keyboard, as well as the sounds of the Hawaiian slide guitar to Congolese music. His late 1960’s band African Fiesta Susika in which he led a three guitar attack has been called ‘the finest guitar threesome ever to grace the company of a single band, anywhere’.
Although he was a musical genius, Docteur Nico was a poor businessman. Though he was able to attract great talents to his band, they never seemed to stay very long, citing, ‘Nico’s poor treatment’ and arrogance. Despite this, at his height (1960’s-mid-70s’) Dr Nico toured extensively all across the African continent, pulling huge adoring crowds at every stop. In the constellation of modern Congolese musicians he is considered one of the holy trinity along with Rochereau and Franco.
Herewith is a simply delightful collection of Dr. Nico compositions from the mid-70s that perfectly sums up his guitar playing style. Full of wonderful, melodious and intricate picking, Hawaiian twang and even a few English language rockers, this is a ‘must have’ album.
Enjoy very much. Very often. Very loud.
01 Sanza zomi na mibale
02 Angele ozali wapi
04 Marie Nella
05 Save me
07 Nalingi yo na motema
08 Nazali bloko te