387

Etienne Mbapp: Misiya

By

Sign in to view read count
Etienne Mbapp: Misiya
Fairly unknown to big audiences, but at the same time one of the most talented African bass players, Etienne Mbappé has, since moving to Paris from his home country Cameroon in the '70s, played with musicians such as Joe Zawinul, Manu Dibango, Salif Keita, and his own fusion bands Chic and Ultramarine.

Misiya, his first solo album, definitely belongs in the same genre as Richard Bona's, soft well-arranged modern African music, where the vocals, using the soft Douala language, have a prominent role. (English and French translations are provided in the CD booklet.) If you didn't know that Mbappé's career was in full bloom while Bona was still home in Cameroon, you might want to call this genre Bona music. Afro fusion is another appropriate word for this jazzy, well-arranged, but still "ethnic style.

During the years that these two bass players both lived in Paris, they used to jam together in the local clubs—one could assume that the room was full of amazed listeners when these two enormously talented bass players got started! Sometimes they were joined by Guy Nsangue, a third bass wizard from—guess where—Cameroon... a country whose rich musical tradition is still very much alive, inspiring musicians like Manu Dibango and Les Têtes Brulées to bring it to the rest of the world with great success, which in turn must have served as inspiring examples for their countrymen. And women—for example, Sally Nyolo.

Misiya is amazingly rich when it comes to variation and interesting detail, at the same time as the fourteen tracks form an almost symphonic entity, displaying Mbappé as a real master of both arrangement and orchestration.

A number of years with Orchestre National de Jazz in France have left their mark. Almost half of the tracks feature a string quintet arranged by Mbappé. The vocal arrangements are also exquisite, and the whole album is saturated with warmth, depth, and a rich timbre, using nearly only acoustic sounds. And the bass playing itself is in a class of its own: soft, elastic, with an obvious virtuosity that doesn't need any showing off to be noticed. A fantastic record that keeps giving you more each time you listen to it!

Track Listing

Ee To Kem; Misiya; Cameroun O Mulena; Miso Ma Munami; Ambass; Olo Iyo; Malea; Tele Miso; Ewoudou; Bewouki Bongo; Malinga Ma Loba; O Mwititi; Anguel'am; Mukanbilan

Personnel

Etienne Mbapp

Album information

Title: Misiya | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: O+ Music

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read All Figured Out
All Figured Out
Derek Brown and The Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra
Read Supersense
Supersense
Steph Richards
Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.