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Manu Dibango

Biography

Hailing from Cameroon, Dibango has had great success since the '60s recording his own Africanized versions of Funk and reggae. His music is highlighted by deep, comforting vocals, jabbing saxophone and funky keyboards. His sound is generally coated in layers of congas; bright, trebly staccato guitar and synthesizer; and upbeat, extremely tight rhythms. The album Soul Makossa was a huge hit in the early '70s, paving the way for Dibango's fame and collaborations with artists such as Bill Laswell, the Fania All-Stars, Herbie Hancock, and Sly & Robbie. The music has been extremely influential -- Michael Jackson has been known to quote Dibango's lyrics, and Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" was inspired by his music. Dibango's sound is one of Africa's best known, establishing a groove rivaled only by his inspiration James Brown, and fellow African Fela "Ransome" Kuti.

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