ReCreation (Heads Up International, 2009)
Lush and exotic, Zap Mama’s latest, ReCreation, is yet another dishy blend of eclectic world music compositions swirling with Ms Daulne’s marvelous vocals and entrancing percussion. Incorporating nipping bites of Africa richness and Brazilian sass, ReCreation sizzles with a sophisticated sound, marked by an expertly wrought cornucopia of brass, guitar, percussion, keyboards, kora, piano and a curtain of delicious vocals. Recorded in 2008 in Belgium, Boston, Brazil, Los Angeles and New York, ReCreation is a veritable cross-pollination of sounds from around the world.
Opening with the soaring vocals by Marie Daulne’s daughter Kesia Daulne Quental while her mother takes up backing vocals and Yannick Werther offers up some dreamy keyboards, title track “ReCreation” is a positively yummy opening to the rest of the CD.
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.
“Singing Sisters” is indeed swinging and downright sassy with the reunion of vocals by Ms. Daulne and original Zap Mama singers Sylvie Nawasadio and Sabine Kabongo. 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.
The real sensations on ReCreation have to be the duets. “The Way You Are” with the entwining vocals of Ms. Daulne and Bilal is fresh and breezy. Stacking an upright bass, nylon guitar, keyboards, piano, programming and flute makes the sound positively sumptuous. The duet “Paroles Paroles” with Vincent Cassel is all smooth and seductive. “Drifting,” another duet, this time with G. Love, vibrates with a backdrop of bass, Hammond organ, guitar and Mr. Love on harmonica. But my favorite has to be sultry “Non, Non, Non” with Vincent Cassel, Ms. Daulne and Jean-Louis Daulne with backing vocals by Miss Camille.
Other stand out tracks include “Togetherness,” “Chill Out” and the highly stylized “African Diamond” with 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.
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Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.