Top 10 Afro-Lusophone Albums (A Subjective Selection) PART 2

by Jacob on April 3, 2012

I just left Luanda, Angola where I picked up about 50 new CDs, so once I listen to these this list may be amended, but here are some more of my personal favorite Lusophone albums. Most can be found through a Google search, at least you should be able to find a YouTube clip to hear what they sound like, and if you’re lucky they may be available on iTunes or Amazon. If not, you may have to visit Lisbon and head to the African music shops and distributors scattered about town!


Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique  Nwahulwana
This is the album that features the classic title track whose haunting melody is a standard for Hollywood movies…whenever there is a shot of the savannah, you can bet the song playing will be this one or Ayub Ogada’s “Kothbiro”


Ghorwane Vena Va Ndota
A lovely album from start to finish.



Eyuphuro Mama Mosambiki
An early Realworld release and a classic African music album.



Costa Neto Mandjólò




Dilon Djindji Dilon




Mabulu Karimbo




Mingas Vuka Africa




Neco Novellas Mita Famba
Neco is based in Europe, the Netherlands I believe, and has a nice contemporary mix of sounds.



Massukos Bumping
A cool album from the unfortunately named Mozambiquan label Poo Productions.



General D Kanimambo
There was a time when this was my favorite album. Although it isn’t quite as good as I remembered, it’s a great example of mixing traditional music with hip-hop…plus the cover is amazing. Where is General D now?



Manecas Costa Fundo Di Matu
A friend from Voice of America radio’s Portuguese-language division sent me a copy of this album many years ago and it is still my favorite album from Guinea-Bissau. Manecas was my guide to Lisbon when I was researching the Afro-Portuguese Odyssey collection for Putumayo. He’s a great musician and producer.


Bidinte Kumura
A classic acoustic album.

Kimi Djabate Karam

One day an envelope arrived in my mail with a burnt CD that had no cover letter and just something scrawled on the disc face, but no info or contact. I fell in love with it, and luckily Kimi emailed me later and I ended up signing him to Cumbancha!

Guto Pires  Sol Na Manssi




Dulce Neves Balur di Mindjer
I picked this up in Lisbon and while it has a bit too much synth in some parts, Manecas Costa plays some amazing guitar on the album and it has some very good songs.


Eneida Marta Considju
I discovered Eneida Marta during my research trip to Lisbon about 10 years ago and her latest album is really nice.



Lilison Di Kinara Bambatulu
One of those artists whose album I really liked but I haven’t heard anything from in a long time.



Nino Galissa Mindjer
I believe Nino is based in Spain, and this lovely album was produced and released there by the Spanish label Ventilador.



Orquestra Super Mama Djombo Ar Puro
One of the classic groups from Bissau, along with Tabanka Jazz. While their older albums are great, this is a nicely produced new album that gets many of the old members back together for the first time in years. Sort of a Buena Vista of GB music.


Ze Manel African Citizen
Ze Manel lives in the SF Bay Area, or at least he did when I was in touch with him more regularly. I’m not sure where he is now, but I always loved his work and am surprised he’s not better known in the US.




Various Artists Putumayo Presents: An Afro-Portuguese Odyssey
Much of the music that ended up on this collection I collected during a research trip to Lisbon around 2001. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.


Various Artists 1975 – 1995: Independencia
This was a seminal collection for my discovery of Lusophone music and has a nice mix of songs from the various countries. It was produced by the label Lusafrica to commemorate the 20th anniversary of independence from Portugal.


Various Artists Telling Stories to the Sea
David Byrne produced this collection for the Luaka Bop label. It has some wonderful songs on it and the artwork is amazing, but for some reason it didn’t quite gel as much as his Brazilian collections did.




{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lilly Ladjevardi April 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Wow, thanks for sharing this list! I recently made a couple playlists of some of my favorite lusophone tracks (though not exclusively Afro-Lusophone), and no cross-overs with your list. Thought I’d share them here.
One called Saudade:
The other called Esperança:
Btw, I was inspired by your recent release, The Tel Aviv Session. It was a refreshing discovery. I loved Idan’s earlier work but found the later stuff a little over the top, whereas this consistently gets the right tone. And how do we find more of Cabra Casay?!


Jacob April 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Hi Lilly – I’ll check out your lists. I ran an earlier list that included music from Angola and Cape Verde and I see some crossover there, so make sure to check those out as well. Also, I focused on albums rather then individual songs. I love many of the songs you listed, but sometimes the album as a whole doesn’t hold up. Myabe it would be good to do some song lists as well.

I’m glad you liked The Tel Aviv Session. I totally understand about Idan’s other work, its not for everyone (although I love it).

Cabra has never recorded anything on her own, although she is a regular in Idan’s band. She is working on something, but she wants to go more in the R&B/Pop vein, which is too bad, but she doesn’t want to be a “world music” singer.


Lilly Ladjevardi April 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Jacob, thanks. I look forward to listening to your selection of Angolan and Cape Verdean songs!

Tel Aviv is definitely one of the most exciting albums to come out recently. Its a shame that Cabra wants to go in the commercial pop direction… Her singing was one of the highlights for me!


Jacob April 5, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Hi Lilly:

Here is the post with the other Lusophone list from Cape Verde & Angola:

I picked up some nice new stuff from Angola, actually, which I will try to write about soon.



Gregorio Allende April 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Eu estado escutando musica Lusophona perto a siete anos, mais ainda estado de pesquizar a profundidade em mozambique e Agola! Muito obrigado por a lista de Albums… Asegurare de compartir com os rapaces!… Otimo! Obrigado Jacob!


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