December 14, 2019

Orchestre Varieté Africaine from East Africa
Dick’s Records 1978

On Dick’s Records from Onitsha Nigeria we find this strange
album. It contains a funny rhyme, “A pretty kitten, All black
and white. Call him to play, I think he might”. As far as I can
see, it has got nothing to do with the music. We hear benga
from Kenya by Orchestre Varieté Africaine? Except for one
offering on Afrowanted, it is ungoogleable so to speak. The
label nor sleeve give us any information on the topic. No
song titles, nothing at all. If anyone can shine a light
on this record, please do .. enjoy listening ..

Op Dick’s Records uit Onitsha Nigeria vinden we deze wel
zeer vreemde plaat. Hij heeft een rijmpje op de hoes dat
voor zover ik kan vaststellen niets met de muziek van doen
heeft. “A pretty kitten, All black and white. Call him to play,
I think he might”. We horen benga uit Kenya door Orchestre
Varieté Africaine? Behalve een aanbieding op Afrowanted
is de plaat ungoogleable zogezegd. Het label noch de hoes
geven enige informatie over de band en het album, geen
titels, helemaal niets. Als er iemand is die erover ver-
tellen kan, heel graag, veel luisterplezier ..


01 – track #1
02 – track #2
03 – track #3
04 – track #4
05 – track #5
06 – track #6
07 – track #7
08 – track #8


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  1. Nick 15 December 2019 at 11:58 - Reply

    And I love it! Thanks Moos

  2. Robert 16 December 2019 at 07:57 - Reply

    The name ”Variete Africaine” can hardly belong to a group that plays this kind of music. This is Benga, a genre of the Luo people from the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. They hardly use English names for their bands let alone French.

    • Moos 16 December 2019 at 08:12 - Reply

      .. hence my question mark ..
      thank you for commenting on this Robert,
      what is the name of this band do you reckon .. ?

      • Anonymous 17 December 2019 at 16:01 - Reply

        This is a Luo band, just confirmed from my wife who is Luo.

  3. Max 17 December 2019 at 08:33 - Reply

    By no means an expert here, but I sure love benga.
    I am not fluent in the language…but I hear the word Shirati a few times on a couple of the last tracks here. Maybe Shirati Jazz?

    • Moos 17 December 2019 at 20:48 - Reply

      I’ll listen some more too,
      you could be right ..

  4. glinka21 18 December 2019 at 06:59 - Reply

    Black and white, and might play if asked? I’m probably reading far too much into this, but I wonder if it’s a claim that unsegregated bands will play together just fine. I know, sounds far fetched, but I have no idea what that poem and image could otherwise mean.

  5. Benjamin Okwako Ojode 4 January 2021 at 04:06 - Reply

    These are the tracks:-
    01. Victoria Jazz – Sammy Onoka
    02. Victoria Jazz – Phares Kanindo
    03. Mori River Jazz – Sammy
    04. Mori River Jazz – Achola gi Leonida
    05. Mori River Jazz – Ochochi
    06. Mori River Jazz – P.O Kanindo
    07. Kiseru Jazz – Major Nyang’oro
    08. Kiseru Jazz – Owino Misiani

    • Dennis Keogh 8 September 2022 at 12:19 - Reply

      Thank you Benjamin, you are a true star!

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