Bridget B. here, and boy was this spotlight selection a tough one. I was torn between Angelique Kidjo, Les Nubians and Zap Mama. Two things that swayed me: upcoming concert in Portland at Doug Fir Lounge and The Triple Door in Seattle with the ultimate decision coming after listening to the new CD - ReCreation. I couldn't find a song that I didn't like. Because of my travels, my ear is more tuned to internationally infused music and this was one of those ear elixirs, full of vibrant and exotic flavors.
Who are they, or more like who is she? Zap Mama was primarily an acappella group of Afro-European women, but in 1996 the lead singer, as shown on the cover, the beautiful, songwriter and vocalist Marie Daulne, emerged as Zap Mama, a solo artist with a robust, international offering of sounds. But let's take a few steps back in time.
It was 1990 when Daulne came up with the concept for the group of women who had the same type of cultural background as she, that of an African and European mix. She is quoted as saying that "Because I wanted to put these two sounds [African & European] together to prove that to have blood from white and black was perfect harmony on the inside. The power of voices was my thing and I wanted to show the world the capacity of five women exploring with our voices and our minds, nothing else. Daulne felt she was channeling the spirit of her Congolese ancestry so intead of using her own name, she called the group Zap Mama." StarTribune
To-date, Zap Mama has released six albums; Adventures in Afropea-1993, Sabsylma-1994, Seven-1997, A Ma Zone-1999, Ancestory in Progress-2004, and Supermoon-2007. And now, ReCreation is out and I played "Vibrations," "Hello to Mama" and "African Diamond" on An Evening of Afrotainment. "Launching directly into the chunky beats of Karriem Riggins and conga bongo player Shora, "Vibrations" is an artful mix of vocals by Ms.Daulne, Miss Camille and Jean Louis Daulne, guitar by Yannick Werther, keyboards by Ms. Daulne and DJ Nanga Yassine Daulne. Equally good is the track entitled “Hello to Mama” with its Latin flavor, sultry vocals and a slinky trumpet line laid down by Trumpetisto from Miami." "African Diamond" was high on my list of likes as it included Yassine Daulne and Papi Pyapyane joining in on the vocals with Ms. Daulne and Tony Allen on drums, Meshell Ndegeocello on bass, Phillipe Allaert on guitar, Luc Weytjens on Rhodes, G. Love on harmonica and DJ Nanga Yassine Daulne." World Music Central
If you want to learn more about Zap Mama, let your fingers do the typing, but more importantly, let your ears enjoy the cornucopia of sound that we stream through the airwaves here at KBOO 90.7FM because they include the likes of Zap Mama and many, many others.
Cheers ~ Bridget B.