This is sad news indeed. Zazou remains a criminally underrecognized figure in electronica circles, despite the high profile of a release such as 1992's Sahara Blue, which featured a veritable all-star cast of collaborators (Bill Laswell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Anneli Drucker, Keith LeBlanc, Lightwave, Steve Shehan, David Sylvian, etc.). His collab w/Harold Budd, Glyph, was also a superb meeting of divergent sensibilities whose very success lies in the seemingly incongruous merging of each musician's approach to minimalism and distinctive sound design.
For me, however, Zazou's best work remains his two early recordings, Geologies, and Geographies (both on Crammed's sublabel Made to Measure), both of which extended Jon Hassell's fourth-world topographies well into fifth-world environs and beyond. In fact, Zazou's polyglot amalgams in many ways carved out a true 'world music' that was leagues ahead of whatever indigenous artists were being appropriated by corporate labels of the time obsessed with finding whatever trip-hop/'world music' combinations they could co-opt. Zazou ingeniously married acoustic and electronic instrumentation in manners that made his multi-kulti fusions work effectively; it all sounded at once 'pure' yet futuristic, truly ground-breaking stuff. Oh, and his collaborative albums with Zairean singer Bikaye also yielded African/rhythmic/Hassell-esque hybrids that remain ever-fascinating, and never equalled, to this day. These 'genres' Hassell and Zazou forged seem dismissed, maligned, or outright forgotten, something which I've never understood—their music was hardly 'fad-dish', certainly less so than, again, much of the mid-90s 'trip-hop' that now sounds hopelessly dated, and far less inspired.
Regardless, Zazou will be missed.