Jo Tongo (born Joseph Ekambi Tongo Mpondo) was born and raised in Douala Cameroon. In 1964 he headed off to Paris to begin Pharmaceutical studies. Somewhere along the way the music in his soul eventually won out and he embarked on a life of music. In African Seven's latest installment of "Funk Experimentals" LPs they dug for the funk. Not necessarily the artist's greatest hits but most definitely the funkiest ear benders. They proudly compiled together tracks from 1968 to 3 new brand new exclusive tracks from present day 2017. And yes, they all have the funk. In spades.
The album opens up with the stunningly catchy "Jangolo." Jo's awesomely funky bass and percussive "jangly" guitar. The track is underpinned by African drums, funky stabs and '70s nascent synthesizer string machines. Next up they take a trip to 1979 and "Funky Feeling" from Jo's Those Flowers album. Here the beats are big, the strings are sweet and the clavi is into overdrive. They then jump back to 1976 for the evergreen, horn-puncher, funk stomper "Piani." Before the sweet smooth funk of "Those Flowers." Next up is "American Lady" with the bright strings, jangly guitars and driving keys. All locked in to maximize the groove. They then take a trip back to 1968 for Jo's second single the ever so funky and ever so ahead of its time, "Dig It Babe." Soul, horns, groove and punch all in two perfect packages. Part 1 and Part 2. Next up it is the funk boogie afro swinger "Ewande."
Bringing things up date they jump forward to 2017, present day. Jo has been making music more or less non-stop and African Seven premiers three brand new tracks here. The drums are punchy, the guitars ooze the funk and the locked in keys tie the tracks together in one tight package. Jo is on the production and at the controls for the mix. "Lion Roar" is first with its driving clarinet and all-out-assault funky drums. The brass is big and this song is Bold with a capital "B." "It's The D Day" is next with swinging soul style groove before "Mystic Power" features a ballsy brass-laden beat and jazz funk overtones.