They called him the "Sorcerer of the Guitar," and with his band, O.K. Jazz, he helped shaped not only the history of Congolese rumba, but also soukous. Franco was a giant, not just physically, but also in reputation, a guitar god every bit the equal of Hendrix or Clapton, but unknown in the West. This first U.S. compilation devoted to his work begins in the mid-1950s, when he was still a teenager, with "Merengue," and runs through 1987, and "Attention Na Sida," his final recording before dying of AIDS two years later. In between you get to understand his genius, not just as an instrumentalist, but also as a singer and writer, his band shading and filling out the music beautifully, while Franco himself produces flurries of notes and fluid runs that call to mind both Wes Montgomery and Ali Farka Toure. Compiled by biographer Graeme Ewens, these songs capture all the facets, from the brief catchy singles, the sizzling live magic, and the extended album tracks--and every one is vital.