Pamelo Mounk'a, Propulsion!
Pamelo Mounk'a, a singer from the Congo, made a great many recordings essaying his take on rumba-rock. All of these were filagreed with grace and charm, sounding Cuban-by-way-of-Brazzaville (in the way that Robert Fripp sounds Hendrix-by-way-of-Dorset). Every reason that I love the late Pamelo can be found in his early '80s sessions produced in Paris by Eddy Gustave. The very best albums by Pamelo Mounk'a appeared on Gustave's Eddy'Son label, with each sleeve bearing the motto: "Une Bonne musique / Un bon son / C'est l'affaire d'EDDY'SON." Only two - Pamelo Mounk'a and Samantha - have been issued on a single Karac CD, now probably out of print.
Nearly a quarter-century later it still seems too good to be true, a band with these guys playing in it:
~ Master Mwana Congo (lead guitarist, also made albums for Eddy'Son, playing like a Latinate equivalent of Teeny Hodges from Al Green's band, both men capturing the sound of a guitar telling itself a dirty joke)
~ Pablo Lubadika Porthos ('mi-solo' guitar and bass, his own recordings nearly as great, some appearing on Island's Sound D'Afrique compilations)
~ Lea Lignazi (backing vocals, a perfect timbral compliment & good luck charm adorning all the best PM lp's; to that end he's the Flo & Eddie to Pamelo's Marc Bolan)
~ Domingo Salsero (ultra-fine drummer, his name alone indexing the maniacal fixation of post-war Congolese musicians with all things Cuban)
Together, the band members mesh like the Swiss Movement of Happiness as Pamelo trills and croons. These are wonderful songs, raunchy and refined in the same breath, kept aloft by one of the best dance bands ever. And so I say, with deference to E.B. White: Everywhere, everywhere, Pamelo tonight!