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Six decades after his beginnings in Brussels and the Congo, the 86 year old saxophonist is still one of the best examples of blending African music with jazz, soul and the French language. With one of his signature bursts of laughter, the Cameroon performer says he's planning "a musical safari retracing all the influences that have fuelled me. A Symphonic Safari! ". Taken high by the thirteen-strong Soul Makossa Gang, languid on the Lyon National Orchestra's strings, Papagroove runs through his life's jukebox with afro jazz, pili pili funk, makossa vibes, afrobeat, retro rumba and a whole host of nostalgia. "Not too much nostalgia! ", says the old lion. How can you forget that Soul Makossa in 72 saw Manu Dibango fuel the appearance of world music. Africa popped up at the Harlem Apollo for the first time. Manu was asked to appear on the bassist Manou Gallo's 2018 album and, in return, invited the amazing Abidjan musician on his safari. The Côte d’Ivoire artist jammed with Bootsy Collins on bass for her album Afro Groove Queen which came out in September. The tireless patriarch's other guest is Flavia Coelho. The Rio singer explores everything from forro to ragga with her sensual and joyful, sometimes childish voice on her third album Sonho Real.

Line-up : Manu Dibango (s), Flavia Coehlo (v), Manou Gallo (b), Julien Agazar (k), Raymond Doumbe (b), Patrick Marie-Magdelaine (g), Guy Nwogang (dms), Marie-Line Marolani (v), Isabel Gonzalez (v), Valérie Belinga (v)

Crédit photo : © DR