I was playing my Friday night restaurant gig as usual, when one of the regular couples told me I really should hear their daughter Anissa sing and play. From the moment I heard her folk-ish voice, reminiscent of a 1970s Joni Mitchell tone, but with a distinctive modern edge of its own, I knew she was a special talent, and we ended up partnering for a few duo shows.
Even though we were decades apart in age, she had an uncanny knowledge of music from before her time, and I knew enough to be dangerous about the music of her 1990s era. Our voices blended nicely, and I told her about the idea I was working on - re-imaginings of existing pop songs in unusual arrangements with blended melodic lines and dramatic shape. Since a couple of Joni songs were in the plan, she signed on immediately, being as much of a fan as I was. Playing live shows consistently was impossible for us, so the project became a "virtual ensemble" of various players near and far. From an alphabetic jumble of both our names, we called the venture Zanilonia, like a fictitious land of exotic music.
At the times when Anissa could not participate, other singers and players stepped in to keep the experiment going. With several single releases under our belts, things are getting a bit more electronic, using techniques I developed over 20 years of scoring for cable and broadcast TV. A couple of original compositions were added along the way, with more coming soon - DZ
“ It’s quirky, it’s fun, it’s proudly different…Zanilonia is complete & total proof that not everything has been done in music yet…not at all, not even close.” - Sleeping Bag Studios
“Set in a vaguely futuristic world full of impending conflict and strife, this story is captivating because of its fantastical qualities, immersing the listener into a horror-filled sci-fi world that both fascinates and inspires.” - The Ark of Music
“Fans of innovative, independent music that exists outside the realm of expectation in the electro-prog-rock space will enjoy this release…” - Indie Band Guru
PAST DAVID ZEE ALBUM REVIEWS
David Zee, "Can't Sit Still"
"David's invigorating energy and talent shine through on his debut CD...And Mr. Zee is not just a one-trick pony. As the soulful and heartfelt tune, "See You Soon (for Ashley)" proves, there is a depth underneath the humor ..."
- Kat Dickinson, Maryland Musician magazine
David Anthony Zee, "AfterTime"
"...a big wet musical dog kiss. A valentine to Tin Pan Alley that finds freshness in the familiar and unexpected depth in pop sentiment..."
- Dan Cohen, The Muse's Muse
DAVID ZEE AWARDS
"Children of Conflict" by David Zee and then-wife Ashley Pound, 2001 grand prize winner, "Music To Life" song competition, sponsored by the Music To Life organization. The group was founded in 2000 by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary and his daughter Elizabeth Stookey Sunde to promote musical innovation for the issues of our time.
1994 New York Festivals - "A New First Maryland," Bronze Award for Best Original Music, Business Theater.