Radio Africa

African classics: Ernesto Djedje


Reviews of classic recordings from Africa

Le roi du ziglibithy

Ernesto Djedje was one of the leading musicians in Côte d'Ivoire during the 1970s. He released at four LPs - "Le Roi du Ziglibithy" - pictured above, recorded in 1977; "Le roi ziglibithien", 1978; "Golozo", 1979; "Aguisse", 1980; "Zouzoupale", 1981; and Tizere in 1982. "Ziglibithy" was the name for both a popular dance style and a rhythm, and Ernesto Djedje was its undisputed "king". He was an excellent vocalist, guitarist, and arranger. The brass sections in particular are well-crafted and the overall musicianship first rate. This cassette still sells like hot cakes in West Africa after 40 years. It's available everywhere - I've seen it in Mali, Guinea, The Gambia and Ghana. The Popular African Music recording label released it on CD but there was a serious problem with the tempo being out of whack. A good bio of Ernesto is here.

Graeme Counsel © Copyright