África Ritmos ‘Merengue Café’ (Rebita, 1972-1973)
(I wish I had a less prosaic excuse for such a long absence but the matter of fact is: I was locked out of my own blog! I simply forgot under which email account – and its respective password – I was operating so, three months later, here’s an update, hoping that I can redeem myself. In other words, here’s a crowd-pleaser that, while I’m at it, I would love to dedicate to any Central and South-American readers out there).
Evidence of the band’s tremendous burst of creative energy around 1972 and 1973, Rebita issued no less than three África Ritmos 45s in a row: “Semba da Ilha/Kaveia” as R-1080, “Amor/Merengue Café” as R-1081 and “Kilombe/Coio” as R-1082!
África Ritmos was formed in 1968 by percussionist and singer Kinito (featured on a previous post!) and the great bongo player Floriano. Soon after, a host of singers, drummers and horn, bass and guitar players was turning the band into a living essay on syncretism and interculturality, offering modern takes on traditional kikongo, kimbundu or umbundo rhythms.
Nazaré, Chico Coio, Pai Adão, Zeca Torres, Brando, Constantino, Nito, Gino, Amadeu, Pitra, Zacarias, Corais were just some of those who lined up to establish what was essentially a powerful and highly appreciated dance band on the pre-independence days (winners on competitions with other bands, such as Ngoma Jazz and Cabinda Ritmos).
‘Merengue Café’ features a sugary guitar solo of Constantino!