Since he was a boy, growing up in Ebolowa, Cameroon, bassist and composer Armand Sabal-Lecco has been preparing for the spiritual journey on which he has embarked.
First, his father Felix Sabal-Lecco (an important member of Cameroon’s first democratic government), and his older brother Roger, instilled the fundamental values Armand would always live by. (Statue Quote)
Armand veered away from his father’s desire for his young son to pursue a career in government and law, choosing, instead, to follow his brother, a bassist, on his musical quest.
Despite disappointing his father, Armand says the teachings of his father have always been his guiding light.
Armand’s mission is spiritual … to spread a message of social peace and justice. Because of his natural talent, Armand music was the best launguage for him to speak.
Be a Voice, Not an Echo.”
— Armand Sabal-Lecco
August 15, 1991 — Armand was just 22 years old, standing on a large stage in New York City’s Central Park, set for Paul Simon. Armand was the bass player in Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints band, and they were in the middle of the “Born at the Right Time” World Tour, supporting the new album.
The half-million gathered was one of the largest audiences ever assembled, and the concert was being broadcast live on HBO, recorded, and released the next year as Paul Simon’s Concert In The Park (CD/DVD).
Armand was a long way from his home in Cameroon, but despite his youth, he was already a seasoned world traveler, and he was well into his professional life as a musician, disciplined and spirited in spreading his father’s optimistic message of hope and understanding.
[Ancient, African, Rhythmists? Music. Philosophy. Nomadic Troubadours. Not for money, but for its ability to heal?]
Armand’s father sent Felix and him to Paris to further their education, and for them, to further their musical pursuits. Still in their teens, the talented brothers rose fast in the European and French music scenes, and it was there and then when they were recognized by Manu Dibango, a founding father of the uniquely Cameroonian musical style. Years earlier, Dibango had moved to Paris, from where he had taken the global stage. Impressed, and happy to see the young Cameroonian brothers, Dibango knew he wanted Armand and Felix to join his band, which they gladly did when asked?
Not yet 20 years old, Armand had now embarked on his voyage, and because Dibango was such a generous man and band leader, it wasn’t long before Armand found a commanding musical voice of his own.
Since its dramatic beginning, Armand’s journey has moved forward without pause, and has been followed closely by some of the most influential voices in the music industry. Interest and demand for Armand’s talent, enthusiasm, and educational ethic was keen. Like Dibango and Simon, the well known and accomplished musicians who asked Armand to join them, were those who appreciated, and knew they could help Armand realize his mission, but who also knew that even though their careers were already so well established, Armand could help them stay fresh, interested, and still open to musical exploration and discovery.
Consider the number, quality, and eclecticism of the musicians who’ve worked with Armand, and you’ll better understand how successful he’s been spreading the word of his father:
Manu Di Bango — 1986?
Paul Simon — 1990
Sir George Martin (The Beatles)
Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
Lionel Richie (Commodores)
Herbie Hancock (Miles Davis/Headhunters)
Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report) — documentary
Al Di Meola (Return To Forever) — Return of The Elegant Gypsy Tour (2015)
The Brecker Brothers
Peter Gabriel (Genesis)
Sting (The Police)
Steve Stevens (Billy Idol)
Alejandro Sanz (Spain)
Mercedes Sosa (Argentina)
João Bosco (Brazil)
Ladysmith Black Mambozo (South Africa)
Senri Kawaguchi (Japan) — Triangle
David Lee Roth (Van Halen)
Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)
Jeff Beck (Yardbirds) — with Stuart at Miles’ South of France castle.
Ziggy Marley (Jamaican) — description of two projects, one you and Stuart playing to discovered Bob Marley tapes.
“Armand is the most incredible bass player on the planet … with all the technique and so much more. He’s from Cameroon (Africa), and he’s always coming up with completely unexpected stuff. Plus, he likes to groove, and that makes me happy.”
Stuart Copeland is the drummer and founder of The Police, a band that after its arrival in 1979, went on to most dramatically become an important part of music history. Armand is now a member of Copeland’s new band, with which his journey continues.
“Message In A Bottle”
The Police Deranged For Orchestra
((( song )))
Blood Diamonds …
other projects, ad campaigns, scores, etc …