LP/ Digital
”Take A Look Outside” (Sono-111)
Unearthed Afro Funk album 1985
September 27, 2019
Exclusive Vinyl LP
Helmuth Brandenburg Orchestra
”Babylon A.M.C.” (Sono-112)
Library Jazz Funk LP 1978
November 27, 2020
LP/ Digital
Fitz Gore & The Talismen
"Soundmagnificat" (Sono-113)
Spiritual Jazz LP 1976
Januar 15, 2021
CD & Vinyl-LP: Sonorama C-30/ L-30
S 01
Lou Blackburn
Holz II
Lou Blackburn
Shango II
Lou Blackburn
S 02
Lou Blackburn
African Hustle
Lou Blackburn/Alan Tatham
Al Rahman
Lou Blackburn
Mombasa 1976 was:
Lou Blackburn: Jamaica, 14 years U.S.A., there with Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington,
Count Basie, Quincy Jones a.o. Since 1971 in Berlin, with Kurt Edelhagen for
SFB Radio and TV. In 1973, Lou founded Mombasa.

Doug Lucas: Arkansas, teacher of music, in Europe since 1968. Sessions with J.J. Band,
Barry White, George McCrae.

Bob Reed: New York, started with Latin groups, in Europe since seven years,
here with Wyoming Electric Jungle and Equinox.

Don Ridgeway: San Francisco, in USA with People`s Choice, since four  years in Europe,
worked with Jimmy Smith, Fox Hunters...

Alan Tatham: Montego Bay, Jamaica, since 14 years in Europe, studied music in Vienna,
studio musician in London and Vienna.

Original producer H. Manfred Schmitz with his recent memories from 2006
about Lou Blackburn`s Mombasa band:
Sonorama 30
This is the second internationally famous and sought after Afro Jazz LP by Mombasa. And like the first legendary album already reissued by Sonorama in 2006, it was released on the german Spiegelei- abel in small amounts only and has completely vanished from markets and memories: Pulsating African rhythms with funk bass and heavy brass sounds. Stunning afro beat production that belongs to the best recordings in the genre. Essential and ultra hard to find album with tons of true killer afro funk breaks.

I started working as an artist promoter at german Electrola in 1970, responsible for radio/ tv promotion and later as a freelancer at WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk). Rudy Petri has been te boss of Edition Accord, a publishing department of EMI. In Rudy`s office, I met Lou Blackburn, a middle aged afro american with an exceptional headgear that I had not seen before. When he held out his hand to welcome me, I was feeling an unknown calmness and sovereignty from this tall man. His eyes were looking at me through metal-rimmed glasses in a friendly way. They looked so warm and I felt that he was looking at me with his heart.

“My band Mombasa and I, we are looking for somebody to produce an album with us. We wanna go on a european tour soon and would like to sell our music after the concerts. We also know what we want to achieve in the studio, everything is well rehearsed and we will not need much time for the recordings. We mainly need support for the logistic aspects and a good connection to a suitable distributor.” We already started our common work after 10 days: Edition Accord and my publishing company Many Music shared the cost and work for the production and we decided to record Mombasa in the Cornet Studio/ Cologne, that was equipped with a small but fine 8-track machine.

We needed two hours for the preliminaries of the recording process and focussed on the best adjustments for the rhythm group. From the beginning Lou had a very good connection to the sound engineer W. Sorger. While some of the musicians checked their instruments, others were decorating the recording room with african cloths, candles and even added incense cones to the prevailing mood. The band drew up like they did on stage, with the drums in the very back but with a visual contact to every band member. There was no real break within the recording session, only the ones for changing instruments and tuning them again. I got the impression they were giving one of their concerts!

We immediately felt a bubbling enthusiam. After the recording – there was only one! – Lou Blackburn came to the control desk and listened to everything that was recorded. We had only worked for three hours then. There was nothing to improve and so we began discussions about the final mix that was done with Lou alone. All in all the whole production only lasted one day. The first approach for a record label was successful too: From the first moment, Peter Springer of Intercord loved the product and wanted to release it on the german Intercord label “Spiegelei” (“Fried Egg”). Lou also confirmed to buy a few thousand records for their european tour so that the contract was signed early.

Finally I can tell you that I was never carried away by such a positive energy before. I felt so much happiness with Mombasa, especially with Lou Blackburn, without being able to appreciate it properly. But I owe Lou and his fellows a debt of gratitude until today! I hesitated for a long time before releasing this claim from the geography of my recently discovered soul. But with this re-release of the first Mombasa recordings, we are on a way, that Lou would have gone with us.

From original liner notes of “African Rhythms & Blues 2” (1976):

“My thanks first to the four marvelous musicians who made this record possible. Again thanks to president Ikeda for being. The energy and direction instilled in me through his guidance. Nam-Myoho-Renge-kyo.” (Lou Blackburn)

(Sonorama January 2008)

Excecutive production for reissue: Ekkehart Fleischhammer, final mastering from master tape: Jury Lutz, original cover photo: Friedhelm Holleczek, original cover design: Charles H. Hoellering, reproduction of original cover by Patrick Haase, Big thanks to H. Manfred Schmitz, without whom this limited reissue would not have been possible. Special thanks to “Hedi” and George Nedeltschev and Wolfgang Maus.

In the name of Lou Blackburn, who passed away far too early, we recommend donations to the Options Care Centre in favour of abused or HIV-positive women in South Africa:

Options Care Centre
122 York Street
PO Box 758
George 6530, South Africa
Fon/ Fax +27 - 44 874 7414
German representative: stefan.burk@burk-ag.com