Conceived by composer/producer Inza Bamba during subway trips from a Manhattan recording studio to a Bronx basement apartment, HOUSE OF BAMBA: COME ‘N PLAY is a journey that takes listeners from the fast streets of New York to pulsating Brazilian clubs, from a proud Native American reservation to beautiful Bangalore, India, from the hot sands of the Sahel in Africa to the outer reaches of our solar system. Through it all, Bamba finds a way to honor musical traditions while simultaneously reinventing them for our global age.
Guests on COME ‘N PLAY range from established names such as multi-Grammy winning guitarist Carlos Alomar, bansuri flute player Ravishandra Kulur, and 2008 Grammy nominated percussionist Bobby Sanabria, to rising talents such as jazz vocalist Celia Chavez, singer/ songwriter Emily Curtis, classical Indian vocalist Shobana Raghavan, and New Orleans trumpet player Kenyatta Beasley. The album also features Brazilian percussionist Davi Vieira, San Francisco flutist Carol Alban, and Ivorian saxophonist Hal Bama.
The club anthem “Zomba” kicks off the record in a festive way, featuring the explosive rhythms of Davi Vieira on the timbau, along with contagious vocal chants. “Amrutha Varshini,” a collaboration among artists on multiple continents, weaves together two ancient worlds: South Indian carnatic music and Native American drumming. In “Come ‘N Play” and “I Like It,” Emily Curtis’s playfully sexy vocals strike the perfect tone over warm, jazz-infused electronic grooves. A desert cry for rain in 9/4 time, “Sahel” brings the album to an afro-jazz close with a whirlwind of blessings from percussionist Bobby Sanabria.
As a whole, COME ‘N PLAY creates an ambience of mythically hip styles, celebrating both the traditional and the futuristic. An album of many moods, these 16 tracks provide plenty of reasons to sit back and chill and plenty of excuses to get up and dance. As composer/producer Inza puts it, “In traditional cultures, music is timed to mark the celebration of events—the birth, or arrival, or passing of spirits. I really connect with that. When I write, it’s not about making money but about something that makes you feel connected to the larger universe every time you hear it.”