"Perhaps the best thing about the new self-produced disc by Zinc regular Francis Mbappe (mmm-BAH-pay) is that he has figured out how to let rawness temper his jazz-bred snazziness."
Francis Mbappe: Press
"Cameroonian bassist Francis Mbappe has been a session hotshot ever since he was doubling as leader of Manu "Soul Makossa" Dibango's touring band. Mbappe's new CD, Celebration, represents a breakthrough. It's where his native earthiness meets his jazz-bred slickness."
"Francis Mbappe, from Cameroon, spent years as the bassist and arranger for Manu Dibango, the Cameroonian bandleader whose hit, "Soul Makossa" brought African pop to the world."
"Cameroon native Francis Mbappe sings and plays multiple instruments on his latest CD, Celebration (FM Groove). The title is appropriate, as Mbappe sings in English, French and African dialects on worldly fusion that celebrates his traditions, origins and influences."
"The music is joyful, creative and melangée avec including elements of his tradition. His many influences coupled with his origin are brilliantly blended with jazz and the result is a new music.
Being a highly respected musician in New York and at the same time recalling his own roots makes Mbappe a special character. Add to this the joie de vivre and you've got the CD Celebration."
"Francis Mbappe is able to play totally without ever separating his profoundness. Just listen to his last release FM TRIBE vol. 1: it offers a musical landscape of singularity as maidenly … as its Mbappe’s elegance of expression."
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Francis Mbappe, Celebration
"The Brooklyn-based Mbappe has worked with eclectic bassist/producer Bill Laswell and is best known as Camaroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango’s long-time bassman. On this joyous debut, his writing, singing, and guitar chops are in full view, while low-enders will dig his subtly percolating parts (via his ’69 Jazz Bass and Modulus Genesis) on tracks like “Awololo Iyo,” “Blues of Life,” and “Spirit of the Village.” (CJ)
“Life is planet Africa!”
"Mbappe, a bassist with an impressive resume of collaborations that includes gigs with Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti and Youssou N'Dour, moved from his native Cameroon to New York a few years ago, but he hasn't forgotten his roots. By incorporating them into settings that draw from jazz, funk, folk and other styles, he has created a fresh, open-minded global fusion."
"Think of all the things you may have liked about modern African music over the last thirty years, combine that with some of your favorite American r&b concerts over the last forty years, and you start to get a picture of the music of Francis Mbappe."
"Mbappe is surprising us with his simplicity, his humility, his passion and his down-to-earth attitude, which make any of his recordings a new adventure."
"Francis Mbappe is one of the most gifted musicians alive today. His voice and musical genius are unparalleled, and his unique and powerful sound charter completely new musical ground. His company FM GROOVE is devoted to the creation and production of new music, focusing on bringing people together who are of different races, educations and backgrounds in an attempt to unify people through acts of artistic expression. FM GROOVE is based on the knowledge that all people are equal and worthy of love.
Francis' talent and vision place him among the true greats of any era. His deep knowledge of African music, combined with his incorporation of American pop, rock, funk and blues have given birth to an entirely new musical genre, one which speaks to the light in all of us.
This album, "FM TRIBE VOL. 1," was recorded at Kampo studios in NYC with his band FM TRIBE. Proceeds from this album contribute to ongoing projects involving cross-cultural communications as well as education people about the depth and relevance of the history, stories, functions and forms of African music in our daily lives."