Appearances Can Be Deceptive

image00213It has been a several weeks since the last post, but with this, I hope it has been worth the wait.

The Volta River and its three tributaries, the White, Red and Black Volta, form a region in Burkina Faso in the North and Ghana in the South, where the rivers feed Lake Volta, the largest natural reservoir in the world. The region is not only geographically rich; it contains numerous tribal groups with the Ewe making up a large part of the population mainly in Ghana, but formally Togoland, and the Gurma in Burkina Faso in the North. With bands like Super Volta Jazz and Amadou Balake the music in this region is, unsurprisingly, pretty special.

Featured today is a single from prolific Orchestre Volta Jazz. They have recorded over 30 7 inches for Burkinabé label Disques France-Afrique; a fullish discography can be found on Radio Africa’s great site here. The band was formed around the same time as Super Volta Jazz in the 1960s but did not appear to start releasing until mid to late 70s. This could explain why despite today’s record being released in the late 1970s it is appears musically to be from a decade earlier.

The A side is a Congolese style piece but the B side has a great 60s Garage sound to it. Having a love of Garage this really ticks the boxes for me. The guitar break could have easily been written by The Sonics or The Dirty Wurds.


B.B. Peyrissac

Bi Kaméléou

Record Details:
Orchestre Volta Jazz – B.B. Peyrissac / Bi Kaméléou (197?) – Disques France-Afrique (LGVD 1.089)


School’s Out

Cissé Abdoulaye was born in Burkina Faso, completed his schooling and trained to become a teacher. However, music had always been his first love despite his family’s objections that it was affecting his studies as he grew up. His persistence paid off and he went to Benin, the tiny West African country infamous for Voudun and incredible music that defies it’s size, to record and tour.

This is one instance that we can be grateful that he did the right thing and ignored the pleas of his parents, as the music he has recorded is incredible and unsurprisingly his obvious talent brought his parents around.

Today’s track is from the album recorded with his band The Vautours. Sometimes it is best to let the music speak for itself.

Remember kids – study hard!

For an in depth interview with Abdoulaye, that it seemed pointless to replicate and regurgitate in this post, please see here – translated from

Aw’ Ye Dolibe Ke

Record Details:

Cissé Abdoulaye – Les Vautours (1978) – Disques Tropiques Editions Satel (SAT LP 168)

Cisse1 Cisse2 Cisse3Cisse4