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Atomic Jazz Band

A veteran Tanzanian band from the northern port city of Tanga. The sleevenotes for the excellent compilation Zanzibara 3: the 1960s Sound of Tanzania (Buda Musique CD, 2007) state that the band was originally formed by Haj Juma and Julius Kiluwa in 1954 and probably cut its first records for MJ Shah, proprietor of Assanand (Mombasa) music store. Shah had set up the Mzuri record label in the 1950s and recorded both in Mombasa and on trips to Tanzania.

Atomic Jazz’s line-up on the tracks that feature on the Zanzibara 3 compilation was: Stephen Hiza, Harson Siwale, Roger, vocals; Twaha Shabani, John William, solo guitar; Zigi Saidi, rhythm guitar; Dushon Juslan, bass guitar, band master; John Kiluwa, drums; Hassan, percussion; John K Mbula, saxophone; Salim Musema, bandleader.

Most of the current listings included in this discography date from between 1968 and 1976 when, to judge by the songwriting credits, John Kijiko was the driving force within the band.

Atomic Jazz Band as they appear on the sleeve of Madoo Mpenzi Wangu/Naona Waleta Tabu, a 1971 single on the Saba Saba label