Bongo Joe follow up their compilation Leve Leve Sao Tomé & Principe sounds 70s-80s, with one of the featured artists Pedro Lima, reissuing his sought after and hard-to-find album, Maguidala.
It’s out today (you can read about the previous comp here). Also, WTM featured the prolific label in more detail recently.
Featuring just four tracks, but with a running time of a little over 35 minutes, it’s a perfect introduction to the most iconic musician from the island off the coast of Angola, who sadly passed in 2019.
Born in 1944, his career began when he was a teenager with his band Os Leonenses. Comprising almost all family members, they played together up until the very end, performing at large events around the two islands. Pedro Lima was also among the very few singers from Sao Tomé and Principe that recorded in Luanda (Angola’s capital) for the N’Gola and Merengue labels in the 70’s and in Lisbon for the essential IEFE imprint in the 80’s.
Outspoken about politics, the people named him “A voz do povo de Sao Tomé” (the people’s voice of the island) having backed since day one the revolutionary party that took power after independence was obtained from Portugal on July 12th, 1975. “A powerful and free soul, he expressed, through his beautifully soft and deep voice, the concerns of the poor in his once-rich, often troubled country,” the label says.
Maguidala was recorded during what is considered to be Lima’s finest artistic period, you can hear the same team of trusted musicians that had been playing together for over 20 years up to that point. Guitarist Leopoldino Silva provides heavenly improvisations and backing vocals, a perfect foil for the soukous inspired phrases of second guitarist Pety-Zorro.
His death in 2019 was followed by a public funeral, one of the biggest ever organised on the island and was paid for by ex-president Pinto da Costa, gathering thousands to accompany him to his final resting place.