Hector Zazou is one of the most innovative and unpredictable French composers, as the versatility of his career demonstrates: rock music (the band Barricades), French impressionist music (the duet ZNR) or traditional African music (three albums with Bony Bikaye)... He has a surprise waiting with each new composition. Whether it be for string quartet, wind instruments, classical voices or synthesizers, all illustrate his passion for the most unexpected inventions.
The album "Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses" (1991) is a successful experiment blending century-old a-cappella songs with shades of contemporary music performed by Zazou and occasional collaborators such as Jon Hassell, Manu Di Bango, Richard Horowitz, Ryuichi Sakamoto and John Cale. The following year Hector’s "Sahara Blue" was released: the album, based on the work of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud and performed by the Sahara Blue Orchestra stars David Sylvian, Bill Laswell, Khaled, Dead Can Dance, Gérard Depardieu among other guests. Inspired by the musical folk traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, Hector’s next adventure was "Songs From The Cold Seas" (1995), a literal journey through Siberian Shamanism, Scandinavian folk songs, Japanese ballads and Greenland mythology featuring an impressive cast of musicians including Värttina, Tokiko Kako, Suzanne Vega, Björk, Siouxsie and Jane Siberry. Released in 1998, "Lights In The Dark" – an exploration of ancient sacred Celtic music from the XIIth century featured some of the most beautiful Irish voices (Katie Mc Mahon, Breda Mayock and Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola), a gospel choir and guest appearances by Mark Isham, Carlos Nuñez, Caroline Lavelle or Peter Gabriel. A successful tour followed in France (Printemps de Bourges), Italy and Switzerland (Montreux Jazz Festival). Recorded with American singer Sandy Dillon, "Las Vegas Is Cursed" (2001) saw the return of Hector Zazou to electricity and experimentation.
As well as being a visionary arranger/producer, Hector Zazou is an original composer who, amongst his many projects, has been commissioned to write for the renowned Balanescu Quartet or for the opening festivities of the 1998 World Cup. As producer his has worked with Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo, gaïta player Carlos Nuñez, Italian band Per Grazia Ricevuta and Uzbek singer Sevara Nazarkhan (Yol Bolsin, Real World Records, 2003) among others.
His most recent projects include a series of new solo albums, "Strong Currents" – released in 2003 (both a digipack and CD/Book editions) and "L’Absence", anelectronic twin of the former.
“In England they have Peter Gabriel, in America they have David Byrne, in France we have Hector Zazou” (Jean-François Bizot)
ZNR (Zazou-Racaille) : Barricades 3 - RCA 1976
ZNR (Zazou/Racaille) Traité De Mécanique Populaire - Invisible 1978
Géographies - Crammed 1982
Zazou/Bikaye – Noir & Blanc – Crammed 1982
Reivax au Bongo (with Ray Lema, Bony Bikaye, Kanda Bongo...) - Crammed 1984
Zazou/Bikaye Mr Manager - Crammed 1985
Zazou/Bikaye Guilty - Crammed 1987Géologies - Crammed 1988
Hector Zazou 1977- 1990 - Tonk 1990
Hector Zazou & Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses – Polygram 1991
Sahara Blue (with Gérard Depardieu, David Sylvian, Khaled...) - Crammed/Sony 1992
Chansons Des Mers Froides (with Suzanne Vega, Björk, John Cale...) - Sony 1995
Hector Zazou & Harold Budd – Glyph – Crammed 1995
Hector Zazou & Barbra Gogan - Made On Earth - Crammed 1997
Lights In The Dark (with Katie MacMahon, Breda Mayock, Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola)– Erato/Warner 1998
12 (Las Vegas Is Cursed) with Sandy Dillon – Crammed Discs (2001)
Strongs Currents – digipack French edition - Taktic Music/Telescopic 2003
Sonora Portraits #2 Strong Currents - CD/Book (96 pages) edition - Taktic Music/Materiali Sonori 2003
L’Absence - Taktic Music/ East West/Warner & Audioglobe (Italy, Greece) 2004
Sainkho , "Out Of Tuva" - Crammed 1994 (2 tracks)
Penta Leslie Swanson, "Sorrow And Solitude" - Erdenklang 1994
Wolfram Huschke, "Alien’s Diary" - BMG Classics 1998
Mimi Goese, "Soak" - Luaka Bop/Warner Brothers 1998 (5 tracks)
Yungchen Lhamo "Coming Home" - Real World Records 1999
Carlos Nuñez "Os Amores Libros" – BMG 1999 (1 track)
Anne Grete Preux "Alfabet" – Warner Norway 2001 (2 tracks)
PGR "PGR" – Universal Italy 2002
Sevara Nazarkhan – "Yol Bolsin" – Real World Records 2003