8

Fusion Jonda: Fusion Jonda

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Fusion Jonda: Fusion Jonda
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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

View events near San Juan
Jazz Near San Juan
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Hug!
Hug!
Matt Wilson Quartet
Read Touch & Go
Touch & Go
Susan Tobocman
Read The Ilkley Suite
The Ilkley Suite
Jamil Sheriff
Read Moving Through Worlds
Moving Through Worlds
Fiona Joy Hawkins
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read Sleepy Town
Sleepy Town
Jamie Pregnell
Read Momento
Momento
Dave Milligan
Read Peace
Peace
Spirit Fingers

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.