After exploring Cairo's musical nineteen sixties past on their previous releases, Radio Martiko now took the Congo-Brazzaville of just after its independence for 'Dansons.... avec le Ry-Co Jazz'. Already in the nineteen thirties and forties Cuban son gained popularity in Belgian Congo and neighboring French-Equatorial Africa thanks to radio stations like Radio Congo Belge, Radio Brazzaville, Radio Leo and Congolia. On both banks of the Congo River, local musicians picked up the rhythms, gave them their own twist and created what we know today as Congolese rumba. From bands like OK Jazz, Les Bantous de la Capitale, Rock-a-Mambo and African Jazz, countless singles appeared on labels like Olympia, Ngoma, Opika, and Loningisa, and among them Ry-Co Jazz (Ry-Co stands for "rythmes congolais") was one of the best Congo had to offer in that period. Band leader and vocalist Ferdinand N'konkou aka Freddy Mars tells the story: "In 1957, I started Ry-Co Jazz in Brazzaville. Initially, Ry-Co Jazz was a sextet: me on vocals, Casimir M’Bilia (aka Casino) on congas and vocals, Panda Gracia on bass, Pierrot N’Dinga on guitar, Fidel Bateke on clarinet and Pierrot Lukwamoussou on congas. We started playing in bars, night clubs and hotels in both Congos and went touring in Central and West Africa. In 1959, we were playing in Bangui (Central African Republic) at the same time that another band, Kangocero, was in town. They had a very talented guitar player called Jerry Malekani. He wanted to play Afro-Latin music as well, just like Ry-Co Jazz. Panda Gracia knew Malekani from his days in Kinshasa - Leopoldville as it was called back then. We made a deal and Malekani joined us from that day on. Malekani’s virtuoso guitar soon took the band to a higher level. With this new line up, we played a few concerts to accompany the singer Henri Bowane. He tried to take over my band and ended up stealing 3 musicians from us. From that point on, Casino, Gracia, Malekani and I continued as a quartet touring the West African coast from Nigeria, Benin and Ghana, all the way to Ivory Coast, Guinea and Senegal. During a radio performance in Dakar, we got in touch with a producer who worked for Disques Vogue. He was interested in our music, so we signed a contract and recorded the first volumes of the 'Dansons… avec' series. By the end of 1961, Disques Vogue asked us to move to France to record more songs and play all over Europe. We decided to take the chance. Unfortunately, we had to leave Gracia behind, because he had fallen in love in Dakar. In Paris, bass player Jean-Karl Dikoto Mandengue and the legendary Congolese sax and clarinet player Jean-Serge Essous joined us. Essous had already played with well-known rumba bands OK Jazz, Rock-a-Mambo and Les Bantous. With Essous, Ry-Co Jazz soon became a regular feature on the Parisian scene and toured all over Europe and Africa. We played for both native Europeans and African migrants. Concerts at night clubs could last for hours and we would play all kinds of Afro-Latin music. They were good times.". Between 1961 and 1966 Ry-Co Jazz produced no less than 25 EPs full of infectious Afro-Latin sounds for the French Disques Vogue label, and from those EPs Radio Martiko now distilled ten favorites for this album. Bonne ambiance with the Ry-Co Jazz!