His talent took him across the world - he was Ray Charles' regular drummer - and the music he was exposed to sparked innovation when he returned home.
The magazine grew to be the largest circulation publication for black readers in South Africa, and expanded to include East and West African editions.
The saxophonist and singer leaves a legacy spanning more than 60 years of musical production that will continue to echo in global sounds.
One of the greatest artists ever to emerge from Cameroon had a fraught relationship with his homeland – but because of it touched all corners of Africa and the world.
For a musician anywhere, surviving and prospering within the genre called jazz has never been easy, and it still isn't.
For many of contemporary Congolese musicians the idea of authenticité was seen as a positive one at a certain level, even though Mobutu abused Congo culture to build his own personality cult.
Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti used his music as an art form that provoked. This wasn't only through politics, but also sex.
It took ages for one of African jazz's hidden masterpieces to be reissued. Still today, four decades later, 1976's 'African Songbird' tells volumes about the politics of the time.