Habib Faye

Habib Faye

 Montreux, Vaud, CHE
BandWorldJazz

The incredible percussive Senegalese bass player, keyboardist, guitarist and singer Habib Faye came under the spotlight with his first album H2O, bringing the richness of African and jazz sounds in a new and avant-garde music. Youssou N'Dour sideman, Habib Faye has composed music for most of the past twenty years. Habib Faye's resume also includes playing alongside a wide range of artist like Manu Katche, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Gilberto Gil, Mark Knopfler, Brandf

Biography

The talented Senegalese bass player known for his percussive style of playing and his consummate arrangement skills releases H2O, his debut album.

Who is Habib Faye?

Bass player, guitar player, keyboardist, composer and Grammy-nominated producer, Habib Faye has been the musical director for the Youssou N'Dour band for the past 25 years or so. He has arranged and produced most of the bands albums since 1986. A celebrated African bass player, who counts Brandford Marsalis, Joe Zawinul and Darryl Jones among his fans, Faye has gigged, recorded and/or toured with renowned artists such as Mickey Hart, Manu Katch, Joe Zawinul, Paco Sery, Gilberto Gil, Chet Atkins, Mark Knopfler, Brandford Marsalis, Poogie Bell, David Sancious, Lionel Loueke, Tania St. Val, Jacob Desvarieux, David Sanborn, Mokhtar Samba, Carlinhos Brown and Anglique Kidj. The list is long. Additionally, his imprint on Senegalese music is indelible and is evidenced by the scores of albums he produced or co-produced with Senegalese artists such as Kine Lam, Ndongo Lo, Viviane Chedid NDour, just to name a few. Known as one of the most gifted African bass players of the last couple of decades, he is one of the champions of a new type of fusion that blends jazz with African rhythms to attain a more accessible sound without profaning the spirit of jazz. Habib Faye follows in the footsteps of fellow African bass players, Richard Bona and MBapp, who have taken the sounds of Cameroon beyond its borders and expose them to other rhythms and tempos.

An amazing talent

Habib grew up in Dakar, Senegal, within a family of musicians. His dad, a teacher, played the guitar as a hobby. His brothers are well known musicians in Senegal. Lamine Faye is one of the most popular and respected guitarists in the country. Adama Faye is one of the pioneers of keyboard playing in the West African country. Moustapha Faye is a keyboardist. Vieux Mac Faye, an accomplished guitarist and pioneer of "Joolof blues" (cocktail of African melodies and blues, taught Habib to play the guitar at age 9 and set off his musical exploration. Habib then picked up the bass at age 13.

He soon became the talk of the town as mainstream artists started taking notice of his talent. But it was his impromptu and no less mesmerizing performance at a Toure Kunda concert in Dakar in the early 80s that introduced him to the public. That day, he came to the concert as a spectator but ended up subbing for Super Diamono star bass player, Bob Sene at the request of Ismal Lo and his brother Lamine Faye. He was 15. His performance generated a lot of buzz and Youssou NDour was listening.

25 years with Youssou N'Dour

In 1984, just days before graduating from highschool, Habib got an offer he could not resist and that came from none other than African super star Youssou NDour. Habib Faye joined the Youssou N'Dour band, Super Etoile, as bass player and quickly became the bands arranger/producer. With Habib, Super Etoile revolutionized Senegalese music, refined and modernized the sound of Mbalax, the national popular dance music of Senegal derived from sabar drumming. The band created a rootsy Afropop sound with jazz, rock, soul and funk undertones that has proven to be the most popular music style in the country. Habib has arranged/produced most of Super Etoiles work.

Music critic Robert Christgau called Super Etoile the best live band in the world. The band has performed all over the world for the past 25 years or so, headlining concerts, opening for Peter Gabriel during his European/American tour in 1987 and playing at the Woodstock Festival in 1994. The band also played along side Sting, Tracy Chapman and Bruce Springsteen during Amnesty Internationals Human Rights Now tour. Habib has called this experience life-altering musically as it made him a better musician.

A passionate musician

In addition to his work with Super Etoile, Habib Faye has focused on some solo projects over the years. He launched a jazz project through the Habib Faye Quartet in 2005 which modeled after Weather Report and bass legend Jaco Pastorius, his reference to whom he dedicated a live album, Live at Central Park Tribute to Jaco Pastorius. This live album recorded in Dakar with European and Senegalese musicians was not released internationally.

Around the same time, Habib started SpectrArts, a promotion company, and founded a local label, Cool Music centered around his recording studio, Coco Records, which sports the latest technology in recording. He lauched Sen Event Jazz Festival in Paris before moving it to Dakar. In the Senegalese capital, he hosted various events such as the "Live de Habib Faye," with guitarist Lionel Loueke (who also plays with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter) and drummer Mokhtar Samba (who has played Joe Zawinul, Carlos Santana, Jaco Pastorius and Salif Keita).

Discography

Habib Faye - H2O, 2012, Odaras Record, Odaras Productions Sàrl, Switzerland.
Listening: http://www.odarasprod.com/artist/1/Habib_Faye