Toyebi Té

Lokua Kanza is a native of the Congo Democratic Republic (formerly Zaire) now living in Paris, where he's been an item since his European debut album in 1993.

Lokua Kanza is a native of the Congo Democratic Republic (formerly Zaire) now living in Paris, where he's been an item since his European debut album in 1993. Toyebi Té is his U.S. debut release, and Kanza proves that he not only possesses a distinctive, emotionally redolent vocal style, but he's also a fine composer. All of the tracks on Toyebi Té are endowed with a marvelous sonic atmosphere, and Kanza's tunes cover an amazing stylistic range. "Good Bye" is a retro-jazz number with English lyrics. "Ndagukunda Tshane" is actually a spellbinding love song sung in French to a minimal accompaniment (including some nicely placed thunder). "Kumbo," essentially a piece for voice, is like a vocal tone poem. "Na Mileli" is a gentle folk lament. This is a brilliant U.S. debut for Lokua Kanza. Distributed by Ryko.—PVV