Saturday, September 17, 2016

USA: Etienne Mbappe & The Prophets-How Near How Far (Abstract Logix 2016)

How Near How Far 

With a rich, singing tone and an unerring gift for melody, bassist Etienne Mbapp imparts even the most demanding musical contexts with a grace, warmth, and humanity that transcends boundaries, genres, and languages. His gifts have been put to use as a member of John McLaughlin's 4th Dimension and the Ringers (with Jimmy Herring, Wayne Krantz, Michael Landau, and Gary Novak), along sideman appearances with Joe Zawinul, Manu Dibango, Robben Ford, Slif Keita, Ray Charles, Steps Ahead, and saxophonist Bill Evans. Now audiences can experience Mbapp's own music via How Near How Far, his forth solo album and the first to focus on his instrumental music. How Near How Far also marks the debut of Mbapp's new band the Prophets - featuring Christophe Cravro (acoustic and electric piano), Anthony Jambon (guitars), Clment Janinet (violin), Arno de Casanove (trumpet, flugelhorn), Herv Gourdikian (tenor saxophone), and Nicholas Viccaro (drums, percussion). With the unusual trumpet/tenor/violin front-line leading the way, the Prophets explore eleven Mbapp originals, which touch on a number of international traditions while bridging cultural divides via deft musicianship and a thoughtful, conversational improvisational approach. 'My music is influenced by places I have traveled, people I meet, colors I see, flavors that I taste, fun that I've had, and, sometimes, the pain that I feel,' Mbapp explains. 'We live in a complex world today. I want nothing more than to bring that joy and understanding to people through music. '