Kakai Kilonzo And Les Kilimambogo Brothers - The Best of Kakai: Volume Two - CD
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cd cover Kakai Kilonzo And Les Kilimambogo Brothers
Best of Kakai: Volume Two (Shava)

This compilation offers a wider perspective on this Kenyan benga artist than Volume One did, both in style, time frame, and subject matter. Recordings range from 1976 to 1984. Most of the songs on Volume 2 were 4 to 5 minute pieces designed to fit on one side of the original 45 rpm discs they were issued on. A few of the songs from the later years were recorded in the extended two-part form common in the 1980s and one of those appears on this set as well.

   

Exceprts from the liner notes by Douglas B. Paterson:

This compilation, Volume 2, provides a little bit wider perspective on Kakai's music both in style, time frame, and subject matter. We start among his very first releases in 1976 and move ahead through the years up to 1984. Unlike Volume 1, most of the songs on Volume 2 were structured to fit as a complete 4 to 5 minute piece on one side of the original 45 rpm disc. A few of the songs from the later years were recorded in the extended two-part form common in the 1980s. One of those we offer as an eight and a half-minute combined version of Punguza Ulevi.

Kakai Kilonzo is one of only a handful of benga artists to attract a broad following across Kenya. He opened up his music to others outside his Kamba language and background by singing in Swahili, which is widely understood throughout Kenya. At the same time, with catchy melodies and engaging lyrics, Kakai sang about subjects that all Kenyans can relate to: songs on all aspects of love and marriage, on social responsibility, societal ills (like drinking and witchcraft), moral guidelines, national unity, economic development, and more. Core members of the Kilimambogo Brothers Band in 1978 were: Kakai Kilonzo (vocal and guitar), Joseph Mwania (vocal and bass), Joseph Sila (vocal and guitar), Francis Danger (rhythm guitar and drums), and John Chuma (vocal). Shortly after this time, the Sila and Mwania parted company from Kakai to form Original Kilimambogo. Kakai renamed his group Les Kilimambogo (Brothers) and continued with great success through the 1980s up to the point of his illness and untimely death in early 1987.

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