Prepare to be blown away! The second volume of the excellent new Zanzibara series focuses on taraab music recorded on the tiny island-city of Momabasa – off the Kenyan coast – for the Mzuri label between 1965-1975. Unlike the more traditional, languorous taraab made in
nearby Zanzibar, Mombasa taraab reveals a stronger African rhythmic attack and a diminished Arabic feel. But the real charm is the strong Bollywood influence! Indian cinema was a popular attraction beginning in
the 30s, and some of the songs here are loose interpretations of certain film scenes. Each group prominently features either accordion or harmonium, but the most ingenious sound is provided by the tashkota, a Japanese string instrument the musicians amplified for a dazzling, twangy tone – in
addition to the usual violins, hand percussion, oud, and fantastic, soulful vocals. The booklet includes great liner notes and wonderful photographs, too. Sixteen tracks in
all by Matano Juma & Morning Star Orchestra, Yasseen Mohamed, Zuhura & Party, Ali Mkali & Mvita Orchestra, Zein Musical Party, Maulidi Musical Party, and Bin Brek.