Kanda Bongo Man | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kanda Bongo Man 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

I fear I might burn out on African music if I don't give it a little rest pretty soon. So I will. But not until after this weekend's appearance by the Kanda Bongo Man, who's absolutely too cool to miss. In a form--soukous--that for all its vibrancy has been criticized by some for not having changed much over the past several decades, Kanda is an upstart innovator. Where, for instance, other Congolese groups tend to start with a ballad and then shift into a long dance break, Kanda usually dispenses with the slow stuff, kick-starting his songs straight into high gear. Where his elders sing long, flowing lines of rich harmony, Kanda sometimes leans more toward shorter melodic phrases and staccato shouts. Perhaps his style has been affected by the fast pace of life in Paris (he moved there in 1979 from Zaire); at any rate, it's a sound profoundly in touch with the times, and it's established him as the foremost soukous voice of his generation. Those who attended last month's show by Tabu Ley Rochereau--who's great, but a bit past his prime--may be especially interested in seeing a soukous master who's at the peak of his powers right now. Today, 5 and 11 PM Dreamerz, 1516 N. Milwaukee; 252-1155.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Renaldo Migaldi

  • The List: July 22-28, 2010

    The List: July 22-28, 2010

    Critics' Choices and other notable shows: Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet, Juana Molina, Struck by Lightning, David Dondero, Natacha Atlas, and more
    • Jul 22, 2010
  • A Son of Sun

    A Son of Sun

    It's been 50 years since he recorded at Sam Phillips's legendary studio and more than 30 since he quit music to drive a limo, but rockabilly pioneer Hayden Thompson is getting back into the business.
    • Nov 29, 2007
  • Thomas E. Ricks

    • Sep 28, 2006
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
August 26
Performing Arts
Tempel Lipizzans Tempel Farms
June 19

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories