The Congo has given us many excellent guitar players, but only one of them earned the nickname ‘Dieu de la Guitare’. With this new compilation Planet Ilunga recalls the life and musical career of the legendary Congolese guitar player and band leader Docteur Nico.
Nicolas Kasanda wa Mikalayi stood for over 20 years at the forefront of Congolese rumba. Backed through his whole career by his older brother Dechaud, Nico introduced numerous innovations to Congolese rumba such as a remarkable take on Dominican merengue, the use of the Hawaiian guitar, the introduction of new rhythms and dances such as the kiri-kiri and kono, and especially the shimmering, electrified modern versions of traditional tunes from his native Kasai.
Thirty-three years after his death, we remember him as the most gifted guitar soloist of Congo. In this anthology we present an original selection of 26 exquisite songs, made between 1954 and 1970 with the groups African Jazz, Rock-a-Mambo, African Jazz Aile Nico, African Fiesta and African Fiesta Sukisa, many of them reproduced for the first time and mostly taken from the original 78 rpm or 45 rpm shellac/vinyl.