CD REVIEW: Zanzibar - Zanzibar
By Don Sechelski - 10/26/2008 - 08:25 PM EDT
Sounds Like: War
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Tranquilite Africa, New Day
Zanzibar is a 5 piece band from San Carlos, California that plays infectious dance grooves based on Latin, African, and world rhythms. All songs on their newest CD release, Zanzibar, were written by the band and are the kind of pulsing, organic, funky pieces that can only happen when a band finds its groove. Chris Robison plays guitar and percussion, Kerry Wing sings lead vocal as well as adding guitar and percussion. Eric Tabellion plays bass and adds back-up vocals and percussion. The drums are beaten by Tim Hilborn who also adds percussion, trumpet, and vocals. Ricardo Molina adds still more percussion and vocals while David Hipshman contributes tenor sax and flute.
This is truly an ensemble effort. The seamless poly-rhythms take center stage as the band hits a groove and works it. The first cut, Where Did You Go? is a Brazilian flavored dance song that is irresistable. Hilborn's trumpet seals the deal. Stuck With You, the second cut, is basic, old school "in the pocket" funk.
One of my favorite cuts on the CD is Tranquilite Africa. Based on west African rhythms, the lyrics call out for peace and an end to the genocidal wars that have afflicted that continent. But again, the groove takes center stage. It's difficult to sit still while listening, the propulsive beat throbs with a life of its own. Baila Conmigo will remind some of Santana with its latin beat. David Hipshman's sax soars over a funky mix of percussion, bass, and guitar. Another of my favorites is New Day. Another African based rhythm, this acoustic song features some tasty guitar work from Kerry Wing.
If you like world beats and good dance music, check out Zanzibar.
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