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Suggested Listening Material

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Alick Macheso - Mafaro

From Zimbabwe, Alick Macheso is undoubtedly the most famous Sungura bass player of all time. This genre evolved from Zimbabwean musicians being exposed to early Congolese Soukous records and reinterpreting the style in their own way with the addition of rich vocal rhythms and harmonies in the native Shona language. 

Youssou N'Dour - Xale Bi

Xale Bi is a deep mbalax track featuring the different rhythm changes expected in this popular genre from Dakar. The bass player is the recently passed Habib Faye, famous for being a part of pioneering this style while also producing and composing for Youssou N'Dour.

Richard Bona - O Sen Sen

Cameroonian Richard Bona is best known for being one of the greatest virtuoso bassists and records with most of the current top jazz artists in the world. However, he originated from a Griot family and often sings in some of his native Cameroonian languages including Douala.

Fela Kuti - I. T. T.

Fela Kuti pioneered the Nigerian genre Afrobeat. Typical characteristics are long repetitive grooves, sometimes on one chord, simple and steady basslines and heavy brass sections. In Part 3 we will be demonstrating how to play Afrobeat using some recent studio recordings.

Sipho Mabuse - Jive Soweto

Saxophonist, singer and composer Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse from South Africa is still rocking in his 60's. This track was a big club hit 30 years ago along with his other compositions that became anthems during the South Africa's apartheid years. 

Zaiko Langa Langa - Live

After more than 40 years Zaiko Langa Langa are still at the top of the Soukous scene. This video is a taste of what to expect at a concert in Congo. The bass line played by Bijoux Zola is the classic Congolese way of combining low and high notes on each beat of the bar to keep the dance floor driving......often for hours at a time.

Salif Keita - Madan

Salif Keita is one of the great heroes of Malian music. In this track the bass doesn't properly kick in until one minute into the song and demonstrates the importance of remaining on one simple repetitive groove to support the track without any need for variations.

Paul Simon feat Bakithi Kumalo

The familiar sound of Bakithi Kumalo's bass playing can be heard on Paul Simon's 'Graceland' album, especially the solo on 'You can call me Al'. Originally from Johannesburg Bakithi can be still be seen performing and recording with Paul Simon to this day.

Thomas Mapfumo - Mhondoro

The lion of Zimbabwe Thomas Mapfumo was exhiled by Mugabe for his anti government struggle music 'Chimurengua'. This unique 6/8 rolling bass style will certainly be taught in future lessons, possibly featuring some of Mapfumo's band in the studio.

Toure Kunda - Emma

Toure Kunda are from the same town in Southern Senegal where we filmed our tutorial for Part 2. Based in France since the 1980's they've had huge success due to their less traditional crossover style making their music much more suitable to Western ears than Senegalese Mbalax is.