It’s hard to believe that Orchestre Massako was established as a military orchestra in Gabon – as relaxed and groovy as the band plays here, between traditional Gabonese rhythms, the Congolese rumba that was predominant at the time, and other styles that have returned to Africa via Latin America. In the 60s and 70s, however, at the time when colonies in Africa at last gained political independence, it was quite common for institutions of the state, such as the army, police and fire brigade, but also for trade unions, to have their own bands. At that time, it was not just about entertainment, but also about creating something akin to a national identity. Orchestre Massako, led by Jean-Christian Mboumba Mackaya, better known as Mack-Joss, accompanied President Omar Bongo on his travels through the country and became the most popular band in the country over the years. When the Senegalese singer Amara Touré joined in 1980, Orchestre Massako experienced a new creative heyday until Mack-Joss disbanded it in 1996. Around a dozen albums were produced in the decades before. Four extended jams, two of them with Amara Touré, have now been selected and lovingly edited by the well-deserving label Analog Africa. A detailed booklet sheds light on the historical and biographical background, as one may expect from this label. A worthy tribute.