by Roberto FonsecaRoberto Fonseca


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Roberto Fonseca is one heck of a pianist, firmly grounded in his native Cuba, but also a child of his time, strongly influenced by the 1980s, especially Rockit-era Herbie Hancock. That's quite apparent on the first cut here, "'80s," which builds on Hancock's work from that time, heavily rhythmic -- except the rhythms are Cuban -- and moving between some outstanding piano work and some low-key Hammond for a very joyful noise. From there he switches tack completely, bringing up an Afro-Cuban soft groove for "Bibisa," working with singer Fatoumata Diawara as well as kora and ngoni. It's beautifully successful, a fusion that works elsewhere on the disc, with "Chabani" connecting the dots between Cuba and Algeria, while "Gnawa" delves into the Moroccan gnawa tradition. There's plenty of Cuba throughout, but it's at its strongest on "7 Rayos," which is an homage to Santeria. Fonseca is a towering presence all over the disc, whether he's touching blues on "Asi Es la Vida" or trading lines with electric kora on "JMF." There's a glorious fluidity to his playing, but he's also an excellent listener, working well with the other musicians. This disc will greatly enhance his reputation, and definitely raises him up several notches.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/27/2013
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0888072346604
catalogNumber: 34660

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roberto Fonseca   Primary Artist,Piano,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Hand Clapping,fender rhodes
Kenny Washington   Background Vocals
Larry Batiste   Background Vocals
Etienne Mbappe   Electric Bass
Claytoven Richardson   Background Vocals
Felipe Cabrera   Double Bass
Ramsés Rodríguez   Drums,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Joel Hierrezuelo   Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Cuban Percussion
Alex Kelly   Cello
Baba Sissoko   Background Vocals,African Percussion,Ngoni
Fatoumata Diawara   Vocals
Assane Mboup   Vocals
Munir Hossn   Electric Guitar,Hand Clapping,Cavaquinho
Damien Francisco Nueva   Double Bass
Sekou Kouyate   Kora
Luis Jesús Valdés   Keyboards
Faudel Amil   Vocals

Technical Credits

Larry Batiste   Vocal Arrangements
Count   Producer,Remixing
Mike Ladd   Poetry
Gilles Peterson   Producer
Nicolás Guillén   Poetry,Poetry Reading
Roberto Fonseca   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Ramsés Rodríguez   Composer
Joel Hierrezuelo   Composer
Baba Sissoko   Composer
Tristan Boucher   Vocal Engineer
Daniel Florestano   Producer,Executive Producer,Original Design Concept
Assane Mboup   Composer
Julien Bassères   Engineer
Carlos Pericás   Art Direction
Papis Ndiaye   Vocal Engineer
Mercedes Cortés   Composer
Manu Ocaña   Photo Assistance
Luis Pericás   Illustrations,Packaging
Luis Jesús Valdés Cortés   Composer

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