Martino Atangana is back with a new album, MOT SONGO. From the very first notes, just follow Martino's amazing guitar and vocals, you will be transported on another very special tour of Africa. Martino and African Blue Note, all top musicians in their own right, meld Afro-pop and jazz with the traditional music of Cameroon, Ghana, Congo, Nigeria, and Senegal. Martino's guitar work is legendary in Cameroon, Paris, and New York. With MOT SONGO his fame will travel even further. Listen to these ten tracks and the sun will come out and you'll surely feel that urge to move your feet.
1. OPERATION LOS. A tribute to Martin Messi Me Nkonda and his band Los Camaroes, pioners of modern Cameroonian music. Makossa with lyrics in Ewondo.
2. MOT SONGO (The songo man). While other people are involved in productive activities, he devotes his time to playing the songo game (see album's front cover painting). Bikutsi with lyrics in Ewondo.
3. JUJU JAM. Jam session. Afro-Jazz based on Juju rhythm.
4. MBEMBE MOT (The nice guy). I dedicate this song to all men of good will. Afro-Jazz based on bikutsi rhythm.
5. COUSCOUS CONGOLAIS. Soukous song, strongly recommended for your African dance exercises and parties. Have fun.
6. MAM YADZAL (Things from home). High life medley with lyrics in Ewondo.
7. FULL TIME. Afro-jazz based on Senegalese Mbalax.
8. SAY WHAT. Afro-beat.
9. SOCAFRIC. Come and dance this "socafrican" music. Afro-caribbean rythm with lyrics in English.
10. RED MOUNTAIN. Mo'jazz
AFRICAN BLUE NOTE
Martino Atangana - guitars; lead and background vocals
Jojo Kuo - drums; percussions (1,2,3,4,5,6,9)
Azouhouni Adou - keyboards
Mamadou Ba - bass (1,3,4,6,7,8,9,10)
Todd Horton - trumpet; background vocals (8)
Aaron Johnston - drums (7,8,10)
Fred Doumbe - bass (2,5)
Curtis Fowlkes - trombonne
Michael Weisberger - tenor saxophone
Aaron Heick - alto saxophone
Gino Sitson - background vocals (1,2,5,9)
Alioune Faye - sabar (7)
Kofo "The Wonderman" - talking drums (3)
One of the most talented African guitarists today, Martin Atangana, also known as "Martino" Atangana, was born and raised in Cameroon, Central Africa. It was there that he began his musical career in the late 1970s, playing with church and high school bands. In the early 1980s, he started performing with professional artists such as Betty BETTY, Dyna BELL, Ali BABA, Ben DECCA, "Ange" EBOGO, Emile KANGUE, Théo-Blaise KOUNKOU, Pierre de MOUSSY, Elie-Martin MBA, Anne-Marie NDZIE, MEKONGO PRESIDENT, and Johnny TEZANO, to name a few. In 1986 he toured with Manu Dibango of Soul Makossa fame.
During the same year, Martino moved to France to pursue graduate studies. While there, he played on Paul Simon's album The Rhythm of the Saints in 1990, and worked with Jean-Luc Ponty from 1991 to 1993, recording two of Ponty's albums, Tchokola and No Absolute Time, as well as touring with him in North America and Europe. During his stay in France, Martino also performed with Sorry BAMBA, Mony BILLE, Sam FANTOMAS, Teta LANDO, Daddy MIMBO, ZAO, and many others, and recorded with J.B. AKAMBA (Mbazoa), Uta BELLA (Eyong), Henri DIKONGUE (Wa), Sissi DIPOKO (Munam), Douglas MBIDA (Cameroon, and Za më yën), Georges SEBA (Freedom), Manuel WANDJI (Radio Trottoir), and Brice WASSY (N'ga Funk).
Martino left Paris in 1994, settling in New York. He began working with Ndedi EYANGO, Nahawa DOUMBIA, Kasse MADY and many New York based bands. On numerous occasions he played at Disney World (Orlando, Florida) with WASA and WASSALOU. Since moving in New York, he has recorded with Emperor ADICHIE (Funk in the Jungle), Henri DIKONGUE (C'est la vie), EDIMO (Moudiki), Graham HAWTHORNE (Mbalafunk), Shannon JACKSON (What Spirit Say), Sylvana MAGDA (Enzila), C.K. MAN (Timeless Highlife), Francis MBAPPE (Need Somebody), and Meg MONTGOMERY (Le Collage). Martino has released two solo albums, Oyenga Fam (2003) and Mot Songo (2005). Both albums were recorded with African Blue Note.
For the past few years Martino Atangana and African Blue Note have been "wowing" New York metro area audiences at venues such as BAM Café, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, Lion's Den, Mondo Cane, Museum for African Art, New Jersey Performing Art Center (NJPAC), Queens Public Library, Riverbank State Park, and York College of the City University of New York. They can be seen at the Zinc Bar (90 Houston St. in Manhattan) the last Friday of every month, and Makeda ((338 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ) the second Friday of each month.