All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Richard Bona: Heritage

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
The roots of Afro-Cuban music can be traced to its primordial source in the West African Mandika Empire (Mali) of the 15th century. Heritage is a collaboration of Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona with the Mandekan Cubano ensemble in a musical exploration of two cultures with the common bond of Africa as a point of origin and influence. This venture revolves around familiar Cuban dance oriented, melodic structure, accented with Bona's dominant African traits, for an engaging tour de force.

They begin with the Bantu incantations of "Aka Lingala Te," where the unaccompanied voices invoke the ancestral spirits. The Cuban piano montuno, provided by Osmany Paredes, shines on "Bilongo," considered an Afro-Cuban classic, it is reworked with Bona singing Douala derived lyrics. The acoustical "Matanga," translates into funeral or wake, Bona accompanying himself on guitar, it is a melancholic remembrance of a lost loved one. "Jokoh Jokoh," is arranged on the identifiable Cuban son, which endures on "Cubaneando," highlighted by the horn arrangement accenting the vocals.

Africa is the inspiration of "Esse We Ya Monique," a spatial adventure where Bona's bass nuance goes back to his roots. "Santa Clara Con Montuno," is pure Cuba, where again the piano and horns play off each other in an invitation to dance by the call and response singing. The elements of mambo surfaces with "Muntula Moto," (The Benediction of a Long Life) in a fresh arrangement of a Bona original from a previous record. There is a slight shift into a more popular vein in "Eva," before returning to the Cuban danzón flavored "Kivu," featuring stunning trumpet work by Dennis Hernandez, as the blending and concocting gets more interesting. The sets closes with the African invocation "Kwa Singa," the music returning to its homeland, after a long journey around the Caribbean.

With a slew of albums out since his debut in 1999, and a fixture on global stages, Bona continues to evolve his unique craft of storytelling enhanced by his virtuosity on bass. This foray into Afro-Cuban music expands upon his repertoire and reputation of defying genre categorization, and exhibits what a perfect collaboration should sound like.

Track Listing: Aka Lingala Te; Bilongo; Matanga; Jokoh Jokoh; Cubaneando; esse we Ya Monique; Santa Clara Con Montuno; Ngul Mekon; Muntula Moto; Eva; Kivo; Kwa Singa.

Personnel: Richard Bona: bass, guitars, electric sitar, vocals, percussion, keyboards; Osmany Paredes: piano; Luisito Quintero: percussion; rey Alejandre: trombone; Dennis Hernandez: trumpet; Roberto Quintero: percussion.

Title: Heritage | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Qwest Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read A History Of Nothing CD/LP/Track Review
A History Of Nothing
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 21, 2018
Read Turbamulta CD/LP/Track Review
Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read 3 CD/LP/Track Review
3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read World Domination Vol 1: Furie CD/LP/Track Review
World Domination Vol 1: Furie
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review
20
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 20, 2018
Read Frank Salis CD/LP/Track Review
Frank Salis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2018
Read "Last Minute Panic" CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "The Ferryman's Curse" CD/LP/Track Review The Ferryman's Curse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2018
Read "Fukushima" CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Manhattan
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 29, 2017