Tabu Ley Rochereau is one of the great engines of Congolese soukous music. He was there at the Beginning and played with all the great ones who are no longer with us like Niko and Franco; but he lives on and continues to cast his long shadow over this great musical genre. Just attend a Tabu Ley live show and bring your dancing shoes because you’re gonna have a good time!
One of my favorite Tabu Ley songs is C’est Comme Ca la Vie (hear it). Tabu Ley’s penetrating tenor voice comes through loud and clear in this commanding soukous classic. It has that utterly joyful, rollicking soukous sound with the characteristic virtuoso guitar line romping all over the the instrumental and vocal lines. In fact, I’d say that the guitar line is one of the most distinctive musical characteristics of soukous. It is the heart of the infectious joy that informs the best of soukous. And C’est Comme Ca la Vie is no exception.
While I haven’t yet been able to locate the French lyrics or an English translation on-line, one hears in the soaring vocal harmonies a transcendant power that invokes the hardness of life alongside its many great joys.
You may purchase C’est Comme Ca la Vie at Amazon.com.
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