Congo Colossus

Congo Colossus

From the publisher...

The Life and Legacy of Franco & OK Jazz

Franco Luambo Makiadi, the Zairean guitarist, composer and band leader, was a truly legendary figure. In a 40-year career the boy from the Congo grew to become one of the best-known, most loved and most controversial personalities in Africa, straddling the continent like a Colossus.

A dynamic guitar stylist, Franco was also a fearless satirist, lavish praise singer and witty social commentator, whose declared mission was to 'provoke, disturb and tell the truth'. His music was one of the few consistent factors in African life, from the latter days of colonialism to the end of the 1980s. But his career was colored by conflict, controversy and the gossip of 'radio trottoir', which implicated him in sorcery, drugs trafficking, political intrigue and more.

Congo Colossus tells the story of Franco's life from a precocious guitar-playing kid in Kinshasa (Leopoldville) to cultural figurehead of one of the largest countries in Africa. It explores the important lyrical content of some prime songs from the OK Jazz repertoire of 3,000 compositions, and features an extensive discography.