Mapangala has been based in the U.S. for years, but he built his career in Kenya after leaving the Congo. Doug Paterson has a good biography and appreciation here. His many recordings always feature wonderful guitar and his emblematic singing. While this record captures the veteran in good form and the production sounds first-rate, there are no nine-minute rumba classics comparable to those that kept Mapangala at the peak of popularity in East Africa for decades. He is more worldly now, and so is his music, and that is a mixed blessing for this listener.
P.S. I've decided to start including reviews of new releases on this site, reviving in this format my earlier activity with The Beat magazine. I'll sprinkle them among the sharing posts, looking a bit different; I hope you find them useful. Maisha Ni Matamu (Life is Sweet) can be purchased for download at CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes, if a low bit rate is okay for your ears. Full-bandwidth CDs can be found here or here.