Starting today at the top of the alphabet…’Abadou’ by Zap Mama.

Zap Mama is a Belgian vocal group, whose style explores African musical tradition. They were founded in 1990 by Congo-born Marie Daulne. Their first album “Adventures in Afropea I” was released in 1993. On  this album, which I consider their best, they sing a cappella. Later they added instrumentation, and went through several lineup changes. Their most recent album “Supermoon” came out last year.

I first heard their music in the early nineties, when their touring brought them to my area. I did not see that show, but I heard the album and it begat my love for world music and afropop in particular. While their later albums have been good, they don’t compare to the first. Their harmonies are otherworldly. Last year I was lucky enough to see them perform at NPR’s Mountain Stage. Although they only performed a few songs, it was magical. I was disappointed that they did not participate in the climactic final song, where all the artists perform jam together, but I understand that perhaps ‘Keep on Rocking in the Free World’ is not a Zap Mama kind of song.

  This appears to be an early 90’s picture, although I can’t tell. Clearly this is from when there were five members. When I saw them, there were only three.


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