Longtime Zap Mama fans may take issue with the direction Marie Daulne has taken the band. After starting out as a womens a capella group, Daulne started integrating instruments, rappers and programming on Seven, taking it even further on A Ma Zone. Now on Ancestry In Progress, the first ZM album in five years, it’s Daulne with help from the Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, Taleb Kweli and others from the hip-hop and R&B community. Nonetheless, the band was always Daulne’s, and she’s in complete command here again. You still get to wonder at her ability to create weird vocal sounds. Her high raspy cat-like voice is as playful and rhythmic as ever, and her sense of harmony stills draws upon her African roots even if she chooses to put samples over the top. No doubt “Sweet Melody” is one of Daulne’s catchiest songs, but other standouts include “Vivre” and “Bandy Bandy.” Instead of the African jungle we get the urban jungle, but it’s still beautiful music. -Tad Hendrickson
Behind the Scene
Ancestry in Progress
Ancestry in Progress brings Marie Daulne & Zap Mama’s dream to fruition, melding today’s R&B, hip-hop, & soul & the traditional African vocals & rhythms. Executive Produced by Richard Nichols (producer of Jill Scott & Erykah Baduh) & featuring guest appearances from Erykah Baduh, Guestlove, Common, Talib Kweli, & Bahamadia, Ancestry in Progress is Zap Mama’s most fully realized album to date: world music – redefined.