Tanzanian outsider music. Not that Tanzania’s musical output in its entirety has ever been appreciated in permanent rotation in this country. Yet W. John Ondolo was probably a marginal figure in more ways than one anyway. At first he recorded sporadically, and in the fifties and sixties he went to the studio every now and then with his guitar accompanied by various other comrades-in-arms, such as the Jolly Trio or the Jolly Quartet, to record a single. The material on this compilation also comes from his records from the sixties. He then founded the Vijana Jazz Orchestra in Dar Es Salaam in the early seventies, later trading music for a career as a documentary film-maker. John Ondolo used open tunings, as are common in the blues or were used by the American Primitivists around John Fahey or Robert Basho. Playing around the basic tone creates a drone, but it is far less dominant and all-controlling with Ondolo than with Indian ragas, not to mention today’s drone music. Ondolo’s miniatures, never longer than three minutes, have a peaceful concentration about them, and are self-contained in an affectionate way. And groove, whether with acoustic or electric guitar.
Hypnotic Guitar Of John Ondolo