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TAM ECHO TAM

TAM ECHO TAM /BIOGRAPHY
1. Two female voices, two male voices  - four personalities(and surprisingly six nationalities!)

Larbi Alami:
Born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1965, of Moroccan parents, Larbi is the instigator of the Tam Echo Tam project. Larbi’s life took a new turn the day he decided to give in to an interior yearning and to continue his erstwhile love for singing. He imagined for the project such references as Bobby McFerrin, soul, gospel, doowap.   Then followed notices, auditions, practise – and a few months later the Tam Echo Tam four use the streets of Brussels for their first appearances.
Having the deepest voice of the four, Larbi assumes the rhythmic section of the group, even though the vocal roles vary with varying arrangements, and at different times any one of the members could have the role of ‘lead singer’. With time Larbi develops a personal rhythmico-vocal ‘vocabulary’ with a sensitivity for groove and up to now these are the identifying sonorities of Tam Echo Tam.
A rigorous and complete character, on stage Larbi can be provocative, with a scathing sense of humour which never fails to hit the mark.

Aline Bosuma:
Born in Brussels, Belgium in 1973; her mother from French Guiana, and her father from  R.D.Congo. Aline is twenty years old when she joins Larbi, Daniel and Valerie to pursue the Tam Echo Tam adventure. She is on the point of concluding her studies in Dramatic Arts and already radiates of this talent  - a mixture of power and sensitivity comes through when she sings -. In the theatre and despite her youth Aline portrays a very credible Bessie Smith, no wonder, for in her there is blues, jazz, soul; and of course Africa – musically reminiscent of Myriam Makeba; languages – lingala and swahili that Aline learns in Brussels and sometimes uses in songs for the group. And that’s not all, just listen to “Sophie s’envole” and its almost opposite “El trabajo del amor” and you’d have an idea of the wide spectrum of Aline’s talent.  When her vocal flexibility and musical imagination unite with that of Valerie’s  this gives rise to some of the unique sonorities of the Tam Echo Tam repertoire.(listen to the vocal ‘mandolines’ on the song “Esperanto”).

Valérie Lecot:
Born in Paris, France, in 1969, she migrates to Brussels in the late eighties to pursue training in Dramatic Art.  As With Aline her destiny would point more towards acting than song, and it’s only by chance and for the “gimmick”that she responds to the notice that Larbi published. She too however had done some singing previously, but never, before meeting the three others, did she have the ambition of making singing a profession.
In more ways than one, her talent and tastes complete those of her ‘colleagues’:Rickie Lee Jones, Higelin, Philip Glass, Wim Mertens.  Very quickly she opted out of the academism of  “classical” music of the conservatory(where she had already spent some time studying lyrical chant) and made preference for the creativity  and improvisation that characterizes the spirit of Tam Echo Tam.
A sometimes very high pitched voice which heightens the sound texture of the quattuor, Valerie’s  personality  can be sometimes quite petulant and sometimes quite ‘testy’; her vocal trumpet alone is worth hearing – it is lyrical, it is sensual; just listen to the beautiful and rousing “Ultima Danza”, one of the group’s compositions which unanimously arouses the greatest enthusiasm each time it’s delivered on stage.

Daniel Vincke
 Mother  from Guyana(formerly British Guiana), his father, Belgian; they took up residence in Zaire and it was in the province of Katanga that Daniel was born in 1968. Of ‘mixed blood’ Daniel is somewhat like the ‘middle man’; has a voice that’s neither high nor low-pitched; a placid personality, the ‘metteur en texte’ of the ideas that spring forth from the collective creative sessions of the group; he also cultivates this ‘neither here nor there’mixture of gravity of theme and lightness of treatment which give a falsely naïve character to some of Tam Echo Tam’s songs (“Le Ruisseau”, “En pensant à Bill”, “Du Tout  au Tout”…)
Daniel is the only one of the group who at the beginning of the Tam Echo Tam adventure had an instrumentalist(besides voice) musical past. Having up to then been part of formations in the sphere of pop and rock, with Tam Echo Tam he discovers the magical sentiment of the unison of one’s voice with that of others- Aline Valérie, Larbi. Daniel’s voice sometimes evokes the tropical islands that produced the vocal timbres of Henry Salvador,   Bob Marley – swaying  between the deep bass of Larbi and the colourful tinkling of Aline and Valérie.

2. The Foursome

The variety in origins, former activity, personalities of each one of the members of Tam Echo Tam is naturally reflected in its music.  A desire to remain faithful to oneself, one’s instincts and the values of the group  from its inception – sincerity, sharing within the group and with the public, free creativity, professionalism along with amusement, humour, simplicity and eclectism, make of Tam Echo Tam a group that has always shunned any particular classification and has always tried to be simply the echo of the vibrations resonating throughout the world in which its four members live.

In actual practice most of the songs emerge as a result of a collective effort of improvisation, exploration of the four working together, starting from one base line which could be an idea for a text, a”gimmick”, a set of sounds …., and from there would emerge the beginnings of a song which would be treated and treated over and over,until each one is satisfied with the whole result.  This is of course a long process and explains the wide gaps between productions of the group, never wanting to sacrifice quality to “volume of production”.

The repertoire of Tam Echo Tam includes songs in lingala: -“Koyoka, “Liloba ya motema” -…;  italian: “Yvan”, “Ultima Danza”;  in Spanish:”Munda Mejor”, “Cuando”;
passages in  Portuguese, in Arab, Swahili, English, French ,even…..Dutch:”Ik will”.
This latter reminds that it must be pointed out that the career of Tam Echo Tam has developed evenly on both sides of the  ‘linguistic frontier’  The fact that Larbi is a ‘native’ of Antwerp and perfectly bilingual certainly explains this.
On a larger scale, the open spirit of the group added to the universal aspect of a capella music, the themes selected as well as the ease with which its repertoire is accepted has permitted Tam Echo Tam to perform in the four corners of the world(see scenic career), each time being proud to perform in the language of the country, in the measure of the competence of its members.

3.DISCOGRAPHY

“A Capella” (Lyrae/Universal), 1994
“Be Your Friend”(Universal),1997
“Century Vox”(Universal),2003
“Allumer l’Humain »(Alone records),2009

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