Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Fusion Jonda: Fusion Jonda

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Ever since the Spanish first crossed the Atlantic Ocean in search of India, gold and spices, mistakenly landing upon the shores of Caribbean islands, there has been an ongoing process of acculturation. Puerto Rico, having been under the Spanish flag and influence for hundreds of years, absorbed Spanish music as well as the rhythms brought over from Africa, to the point that this amalgamation has come to identify the music of the island. So it comes as no surprise that the ensemble Fusion Jonda , with their original blend of flamenco coupled with bomba, guaguancó and hip hop, has struck a nerve with the Puerto Rican audience. They are dynamic stage entertainers who are able to recreate the music in a live setting with a high standard of professionalism.

With the opening strains of "Soniquete Boricua," there is a defined sense of jaleo which is carried throughout the record. Devoid of any melodic instruments on this track, it is the classic hand clapping, known as palmas, which sets the tempo upon which the vocals of Juan Luis Romero are carried. Romero is the guitarist, vocalist and producer of Fusion Jonda, and is the driving force of the band.

"Chocamelo," is a frenetic combination of vocal melody and driving congas interjected with hip hop, augmented with a full blown horn section. The influence of the Gipsy Kings is evident on their cover of this groups "Djobi Djoba," where Romero is accompanied by the charming voice of Nayka Vallejo. "Espacio," is an emotional tale of lost love, where Romero shows his mastery of the afillá vocal technique.

The traditional barriles de bomba, are brought to the forefront in "Rumba Con Bomba," and given a modern urban twist with the rap vocal by Javier Velázquez. Then it's back to Spain with the paso doble rendition of "Dame La Libertad." The highlight track of "Que No Que No," is an island flavored buleria delivered with a distinct panache that when performed live is a fervent crowd pleaser.

This energetic offering by Fusion Jonda is indicative of the musical collaborations which are appearing on a global scale in world music, and has caught hold on in the Caribbean as well. On top of excellent musician skills, this type of recording calls for intense focus and attention in execution, and Fusion Jonda accomplished that. It is the perfect example of old world vibe swathed with a new attitude yielding an exuberant production.

Track Listing: Soniquete Boricua; Chocamelo; Djobi Djoba; Alegrias de la Placita; Espacio; Espejismo; Guanguancó Armenio; Rumba con Bomba; Dame La Libertad; Que No Que No; Un Mundo Nuevo; Llanto del Caribe.

Personnel: Juan Luis Romero: voice, backing vocal, guitar; Pancho Irizarry: guitar (2, 3, 4); Wilfredo “El Canela” Davila: cajón, drums; William “Pipo” Torres: bass, keyboards (2, 8, 10, 11); Nayka Vallejo: vocals;Patricia Muñiz: clapping, tablado; Sabu Rosado: percussion; Lilliana Marrero: violin; Jorge Morales: tabla (5, 7, 9); Pedro Marcano: trumpet; Carlos Hernandez: trumpet; Beto Torrens: percussion; Joey Oyola: trombone; Vicente Martinez: trombone; Ray Nieves: guitar (10); Reynaldo Fuentes: violin; Javier “Insurgente” Velazquez: vocals.

Title: Fusion Jonda | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Rumble at Waikiki. The John Blair Anthology" CD/LP/Track Review Rumble at Waikiki. The John Blair Anthology
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 27, 2018
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Trane Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Trane Stories
by Rex Butters
Published: November 9, 2018
Read "Ethio Jazz Volume One" CD/LP/Track Review Ethio Jazz Volume One
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 9, 2018
Read "There Are Stars In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review There Are Stars In Brooklyn
by James Fleming
Published: October 16, 2018
Read "An American Treasure" CD/LP/Track Review An American Treasure
by Doug Collette
Published: October 27, 2018