Lea y Domingo, Jalousie
"L'Argent Apelle L'Argent," being an Op-Ed-piece-in-song that you could dance to, cemented the reputation of Congolese chanteur Pamelo Mounk'a as the '80s began. The title, translating as 'Money calls money' would prove prophetic for those involved with the record. Much like director Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns — insanely successful, to the point where probably Leone's hairdressers and set caterers got to direct their own films — so, too, did many of Pamelo's sidemen hondle their own releases in the slipstream of "L'Argent..." success. PM backing vocalist Lea Lignazi and drummer Domingo Salsero collaborated on Jalousie, with star Parisian producer Eddy Gustave in the control room, releasing the results on his Eddy'son label.
Lignazi had released at least one solo lp prior to this, Dede Priscilla, though regrettably I've never been able to secure a copy of same. Fortunately, a mid-'80s pilgrimage to the original Stern's African record store near London's Tottenham Court Road paid off in good timing alone. As I walked in, the band playing on the shop's turntable was instantly recognizable, though I couldn't place its singers. Then I saw the record's sleeve art, with the given names of Messrs. Lignazi and Salsero set in presstype atop what might have been recycled Xmas gift wrap.
There was one other customer in the shop, a very large African businessman barely contained in an Italian suit, stamping his foot to seismic effect in time to the record. Despite this guy being obviously over the moon with the sounds of Jalousie (and his out-weighing me by eighty pounds or so) I bought the record immediately, and strolled down Warren Street in a trance.
Nearly twenty-five years later, scrutinizing the component waveforms of this fine dance music in the course of digitizing Jalousie, I realized that Mr. Big's footstomps were probably etched into the B-side by the stylus of Stern's turntable. With virtual scalpel in hand, I persevered and have managed to render a favorite soukous record listenable once more.
The sleeve copy for Jalousie carries no date. To judge by the producer's over-use of signal processing, specifically the chorusing effect applied here to vocals and horns, this record is probably contemporary with Pamelo Mounk'a's "Red Album" (see below, circa 1984).
The pair of songs ("Pas Mal" and "Mozele-Paco") comprising Jalousie's A-side nearly eclipse the other two songs contained here; both are cut from a fabric of sheer exuberance. The title track does contain lovely alto sax arabesques, courtesy of producer Gustave.
JALOUSIE (@ 320)