Orchestre Massako - s/t LP
Label: Analog Africa
The last time I found myself on the phone with Mack-Joss - founder of the Mighty Orchestra Massako, Gabon's national orchestra - I could hear gun-shots in the background. Shortly afterwards I found out that the baobab of Gabonese music had fallen. Adept to folk rhythms, Mack-Joss quickly established himself as a staple of Libreville's nightlife scene and earned the respect of Franco, the legendary master of Congolese Rumba, transforming him into an ascendent figure of pan-African culture. Mack-Joss's songwriting ability provided hit after hit. A few of these recordings featured a singer from Guinee Conakry by the name of Amara Toure. His specific voice, impossible not to recognise, left no one unmoved. With a four decades spanned career, Mack-Joss's contribution to Gabonese culture cannot be overstated and continues to inspire the respect and devotion of people who knew him.