Kanda Bongo Man

Kwasa Kwasa

Although geared more towards the international audience, this album does capture the true essence of raw soukous. I could barely conjure up a more impressive lineup of all-star musicians. And in this case too many chefs don’t spoil this soup. The album is high energy all the way through. Highly recommended.

Amour Fou (Crazy Love)

I stumbled upon this album via another shopper’s recommendation at Amoeba Music in San Francisco. He said “get it.” And I did. Now look, I have six of Kanda’s albums. Enough said?

Zing Zong

The album is a bit more mellow than the above yet features some of Kanda’s best work. The song Yesu Christu featuring Nene Tchakou on guitar couldn’t be more serene. The song Monie is always played live—one of Kanda’s favorites and a true classic in its own right.

Non Stop Non Stop

This collection is nice look at Kanda’s earlier years in Paris. The CD contains his first two albums: Iyole & Djessy. I would say that this should not be your first Kanda album to buy. (That should be Kwasa Kwasa or Amour Fou) but if you have those, and like them—which you ought to—than this album would be the next in a natural progression of Kanda Bongo Man. The recording quality is superb and the guitar licks feature the mighty Diblo Dibala on guitar. Get it; 5 stars.

Soukous in Central Park

I was quite disappointed that Ryko would put out something that sounds like an amateur recorded it. With that in mind, maybe this was the only recording of this wonderful concert. The song selection is outstanding, however, highlighting Kanda’s greatest hits. But again, the flat recording and lack of audience presence on the disk distracts from the harmonious event that happened that day in Central Park. If you are a fan, though, it is definitely worth a listen for its historical charm.


I bought this during Kanda’s most recent tour of the Bay Area. The album is definitely fast and erupts instantly with pounding guitar riffs that lead into vocals and more riffs. The audio quality is excellent. My main complaint is that the linear note lack any info about who is playing what in the band—and this is important for any true fan. All in all, this is not cheesy and is highly recommended if you want to dance.