“Su La Take”
www.etiennembappe.comSteady readers of BMM may recall me gushing over Etienne Mbappe’s first release, “Misiya”. Well, get ready for more gushing! Su La Take is just beautiful. This one has been in heavy rotation in my car, on my iPod on planes and in the house. His writing is stellar, his voice is lush and emotive & the playing is world class. Those who pay attention may know that I have a special affinity for African music and the fusions of styles with Western music. Whereas Richard Bona has leaned a little more towards the Afro-cuban and American groove-jazz, Etienne still gives us a heavy dose of African grooves and bass playing. What I love so much is how beautifully he blends very “on the one” oriented western grooves with the more up-beat oriented African bass lines and guitar parts. Etienne may be one of my favorite bassists, but what sets him apart is his apparent lack of need to show off. He could play circles around many of us, but you will find no bass solos here. Just thoughtful writing and beautifully crafted bass lines. Don’t get me wrong, there are some bass lines in here that require you to scoop your jaw off of the floor (the Chorus of “Bonendale” comes to mind here), but he never plays anything but that which is in service to the music. I just can’t get enough. Check it out!