Francis Mbappe (Kamerun, ZDA, SI)


f: Jože Požrl

Francis Mbappe (Kamerun / ZDA) – vokal /vocals, bas kitara / bass
Tomaž Gajšt (SI) – trobenta / trumpet
Lenart Krečič (SI) – saksofon / sax
Gregor Ftičar (SI) – klavir / piano
Branimir Gazdik (HR) – bobni / drums

Francis Mbappe, domačin Kameruna, je neustavljivi naravni glasbenik, ki izdaja že tretji album pod svojim imenom, po tem ko je krasil oder z glasbenimi velikani, kot so Herbie Hancock, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti, Ashanti Tokoto, Francois Louga in Ernesto Djedje.

Z devetnajstimi leti je Mbappe že bil basist in glasbeni vodja skupine Manuja Dibanga, s katerim je bil na mnogih turnejah med letoma 1982 in 1990. Pojavi se na albumih »Surtension«, »Abele Dance«, »Baobab Sunset« in na priznani »Waka Africa« izdaji, ki vključuje tudi Petra Gabriela, Youssouja Ndoura, Salifa Keito in Kinga Sunny Adeja.

Ob prihodu v New York v 1990-ih je Francis ustanovil skupino »FM TRIBE« z nekaterimi najbolj vznemirljivimi in inovativnimi izvajalci naokoli. S funkom v zasnovi, rockovsko držo, swingovskim gibanjem in duhom soula je Francis Mbappe vodil svojo skupino »FM TRIBE« po njujorški glasbeni sceni in posnel slogovno revolucionarni album z naslovom »Need Somebody«.

Aaron Heick, nekdanji saksofonist, je označil Mbappejev prispevek k medsebojnem oplajanju glasbe kot »bistven. Fracis tej sceni prispeva nekaj novega in resnično edinstvenega. Je na robu stvarjenja nove vrste glasbe, ki vsebuje številne od najboljših elementov obeh tradicij (jazz, funk, rhythm-n-blues z afriško glasbo). Tako redko je najti nekoga, ki je zmožen povleči vse te vrste vplivov skupaj in dejansko ustvariti nekaj novega«.

Preden je postal eden najbolj iskanih basistov v New Yorku, je bil Francis tudi koproducent in aranžer albuma »Guido Vittale« Konninga Planka, ki je vključeval Annie Lennoy in Dava Stewarta, prav tako pa je delal glasbo za film »Mladi Toscanini« režiserja Franca Zeffirellija, v katerem igra Elizabeth Taylor.

Kot redni nastopajoči v njujorškem »The Zinc Bar« je bil Francis razglašen za »svetlečo zvezdo« njujorške glasbene scene. Mnoga leta je poživljal vsa vroča mesta v New Yorku, prav tako pa je nadaljeval s svojim producentskim delom v svojem glasbenem podjetju »FM GROOVE INC.«, kjer je združeval ljudi različnih izvorov, izobrazb in ozadij v poskusu, da bi poenotil ljudi skozi dejanja umetniškega izražanja (in pri tem izdal nekaj prekleto dobre glasbe!).

Zadnja Francisova produkcija je akustični album z naslovom »Celebration.« Vsebuje tako tradicionalne kot nove pesmi. Ta kompilacija je mešanica enostavnosti, virtuoznosti in ponižnosti, ki odraža številne dimenzije življenja, ki je polno dogodivščin, moči, strasti in ognja.

Njegov prihajajoči album, »Peace is Freedom«, je rezultat dvajsetih let glasbenega raziskovanja. Francis Mbappe je našel način, kako vključiti vse glasbene elemente, ki so zgradili glasbenika, kakršen je danes. V tej novi produkciji združuje bistvo (vsaj) petih glasbenih žanrov: funka, jazza, rocka, svetovne in seveda afriške glasbe, ki jih nabere pri viru in pridobi sok vsakega od njih, da bi ustvaril novo glasbo, narejeno iz najboljših elementov, ki jih lahko ponudi Mati Zemlja. Nikoli prej nismo našli sloga, v katerem toliko vplivov skupaj deluje tako harmonično.

»Enostavnost je v resnici zelo težko doseči,« pravi. »Temelji na pozornosti, premisleku, znanju in potrpežljivosti.« Njegove izkušnje so ga pripeljale do te visoke ravni glasbenega izražanja in umetniške modrosti. V svetu prekomerne potrošnje, hitrosti in individualizma je takšno avtentično delo blagoslov. Zato se ta novi album magično dotakne vsakega posameznega človeškega bitja. Ni čudno, da nekateri pravijo, da je Afrika rojstni kraj Človeštva.

A native of Cameroon, Francis Mbappe is an unstoppable natural musician who is releasing his third album under his name, after having graced the stage with musical greats such as Herbie Hancock, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti, Ashanti Tokoto, Francois Louga, and Ernesto Djedje.

By the age of nineteen Mbappe was bass player and musical director for Manu Dibango’s band, with whom he toured extensively from 1982 until 1990. He appears on the albums “Surtension”, “Abele Dance”, “Baobab Sunset” and the renowned “Waka Africa” release, which also features Peter Gabriel, Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita, and King Sunny Ade.

Upon arrival to New York City in the 1990’s, Francis started the band “FM TRIBE” with some of the most exciting, innovative players around. With funk in the conception, rock in the attitude, swing in the movement and soul in the spirit, Francis Mbappe led his band “FM TRIBE” through the New York City music circuit and recorded a stylistically revolutionary album entitled “Need Somebody.”

Aaron Heick, former saxophonist, referred to Mbappe’s contribution to the cross-pollination of music as “essential. Francis is contributing something new and truly unique to this scene. He is on the verge of creating a new kind of music that contains many of the best elements of both traditions (jazz, funk, rhythm-n-blues with African music). It is so rare to find someone who is capable of pulling all these types of influences together and to actually create something new.”

Before becoming one of New York’s most sought after bass players, Francis also co-produced and arranged the album “Guido Vittale” for Koning Plank, featuring Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, as well as working on music for the film “Young Maestro,” featuring Elizabeth Taylor and directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

A regular player at NYC’s “The Zinc Bar,” Francis has been deemed “a shining star” in the NYC world music scene. He has livened up all of the New York hot spots for many years as well as continued with his work as a producer under his music production company “FM GROOVE INC.”, bringing people of different origins, educations and backgrounds together, in an attempt to unify people through acts of artistic expression (and put out some damn good music in the process!).

The last production of Francis is an acoustic album entitled “Celebration.” It contains songs both traditional and new. A mixture of simplicity, virtuosity and humility, this compilation of songs reflects the many planes of a life full of adventure, strength, passion and fire.

His coming album, “Peace is Freedom”, is the result of twenty years of musical research. Francis Mbappe found the way to include all the musical elements that built the musician he is today. In this new production, he combines the essences of (at least) five music genres: funk, jazz, rock, world and of course African music, picking them at their source, retrieving the sap of each of them to create a new music made of the best elements Mother Earth has to offer. Never before have we found a style in which so many influences work together so harmoniously, so essentially.

“Simplicity is actually very difficult to reach,” he says. “It relies on attention, thought, knowledge and patience.” His experience led him to this high level of musical expression and artistic wisdom. In a world of over-consumption, speed and individualism, a piece of authenticity like this one is a blessing. This is why this new album magically touches every single human being. No wonder why some say that Africa is the birthplace of Humanity.