- Released: October 10, 2000
- Label: Manteca
Q - 3/01, p.1184 stars out of 5
- "...Cameroonian jazz-funk sax player with an uncanny ear for new sounds and styles. This greatest hits set starts with a superb re-recording of his 1973 hit 'Soul Makossa'..."
- 1.Soul Makossa
- 4.Sun Explosion
- 5.A Freak Sans Fric
- 6.Oh! Koh!
- 8.Abele Dance
- 9.Electric Africa
- 10.Africa Boogie
- 11.Big Blow
Includes liner notes by Graeme Ewens.
Along with Fela Kuti, Manu Dibango was one of the figures central to bringing African pop to the world's attention in the 1970s. His "Soul Makossa," released in 1973, was an international hit, and its blend of funk, jazz, and traditional African sounds helped launch a new epoch of African music. Appropriately, "Soul Makossa" kicks off THE VERY BEST OF MANU DIBANGO: AFROSOULJAZZ, and introduces 11 tracks that span 40 years in the career of "the Lion from Cameroon." Dibango's musical vision is truly pan-global, and encompasses elements of Latin music ("Ekedi"), rock ("Africadelic"), and jazz fusion ("Poinciana"), keeping a smooth stream of African polyrhythms percolating under each track all the while.
On these cuts, Dibango is less of a force as a saxophonist (horns are usually used for rhythmic punctuation or atmospheric texture) than he is as a composer and synthesist. He seems equally comfortable on juju-inspired jams ("A Freak Sans Fric"), '80s electro-boogie ("Electric Africa"), and high-octane dance numbers that mine the makossa feel for which the artist is famous. Though Dibango's career could never be properly distilled to 11 tracks, AFROSOULJAZZ gives a superb, economical overview of the accomplishments of this world-music titan.