Manu Dibango (1933-2020)

Manu Dibango is definitely among the best known African artists outside Africa. His career is long and full of (musical) adventure. As a boy of 15 years old he was sent to Paris to pursue his school education, but his love for music was stronger, and he studied classical piano and, later, saxophone. In 1956, he went to Brussels, where he played with several jazz bands. From 1961 to 1965 he stayed in Kinshasa and played with le Grand Kalle, one of the pioneers of the new Congolese sound based on the rumba.

Back in Paris, he continued recording singles, and around 1970, a first album came out. His third album, « Soul Makossa », especially with its title track (originally the b-track of a single dated 1971), was his international breakthrough in 1973. The success gave him the opportunity to go to the USA and play with some big names in jazz music. A later stay in Jamaica during 1979 inspired him to record some reggae albums. Even throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he continues to look for new inspiration, and he frequently records with other artists. A remarkable man.

In 2011, a new album « Past Present Future » came out, featuring the first new recordings since the 1990s, including a new version of his all-time hit, « Soul Makossa 2.0 ».

Born: 12 December 1933 in Douala, as Emmanuel Dibango N'Djocke. Died 24 March 2020 in Paris region
Style: makossa, soul, funk, jazz, reggae, fusion
Manu Dibango
Manu Dibango

Title Year Label Remarks
Balade en saxo 2013 EGT
Past Present Future 2011 BorderBlaster BBCD015
Afro-Soul Machine 2011 Metro Select METRSL026 2CD compilation
Ballad Emotion 2011 EGT
African Woodoo 2008 Frémeaux et Associés FA502 Previously unreleased compositions
Africavision - Le cinéma de Manu Dibango 2007 ULM/Buda Compilation of African O.S.T.'s
Lion of Africa 2007 Global Mix GMCD/DVD01 Live CD & DVD (2004 at the Barbican Centre, London)
Manu Dibango joue Sidney Bechet 2007 Cristal Records CRCD0708 Live CD
Essential Recordings 2006 Manteca MANTDBL505 2CD
Rough Guide to Manu Dibango 2004 World Music Network RGNET1144CD
Manu Dibango 2004 Mercury 3CD longbox
From Africa 2003 Blue Moon PG1004
Africadelic: Best of Manu Dibango 2003 Wrasse Records WRASS115
B-Sides (+ Soul Fiesta remixes) 2002 Soul Paris 85908-2 Distribution Mélodie
Kamer feeling 2001 JPS Production CDJPS 126
Anthology 2000 Eagle Elite Editions EEECD 009 3CD set
The Very Best of Manu Dibango: AfroSoulJazz 2000 Manteca MANTCD016
Mboa Su' (Kamer feelin') 2000 JPS Production CDJPS 064
Manu Safari 1998 Wagram 2CD set, with remastered older recordings
Soul Makossa 1998 Musidisc 403652
Africa Soul: Very Best of... 1997 Mercury 534 766-2
Papa groove - Live 96 1996 WMD 7382025
Lamastabastani 1995 Soul Paris 85906-2 Distribution Mélodie
Wakafrika 1994 Fnac 592137 also on Giant (Warner Bros) 24566
Polysonik 1992 Expression Records EXVP7CD
Bao Bao 1992 Mau Mau Records MAUCD632
Negropolitaines vol. 2 1992 Soul Paris 85905-2
Home Made 1990 Sonodisc CD 362018
Negropolitaines vol. 1 1989 Soul Paris 85904-2
Happy Reunion / La fête à Manu 1988 Buda 82427-2
Tropical Garden 1987 Sonodisc CD 1904
Afrijazzy 1986 Soul Paris 85902-2
Electric Africa 1985 Celluloid CEL 6114
Bande originale du film: L'Aventure Ambigue 1984 Carrere 66.149 O.S.T.
Déliverance 1984 Afrovision CDAF 1984 Released on CD 1990 (Distribution Sonodisc)
Mboa 1983 Afrovision AF 1983
Soft and Sweet 1983 Sonodisc 63703
Waka Juju 1982 Esperance ESP 7515
Rasta Souvenir 198? Esperance ESP 7512/3 Reggae double LP
Ambassador 1980 Island Records 162-539-658-2
Gone Clear 1980 Afrovision AF 1980
A la jamaique 1979 Sonodisc CD 1903
Seventies Sonodisc 8701
Sun Explosion 1978 Decca SKLR 5303
O.S.T. L'herbe sauvage 1977 Fiesta
Afrovision 1976 Fiesta
African Rhythm Machine 1975 Fiesta Compilation 1971-75
Super Kumba 1974 Fiesta 360 052 Also London Records DL.3013
Makossa Man 1974 African 360.048 Also Atlantic SD 7276
Soul Makossa 1973 African 360.047 Also Accord 403652; Atlantic SD 7267
African Voodoo 1972 PSI-3036 Library record
Soma Loba 1971 African 360.045
Manu Dibango 1971 Fiesta 365.008
Saxy Party 19?? Mercury France 135.717

Page added October 1998