Fonseca is One of The Most Exciting Musicians in The New Cuban Scene

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Monday March 12, 2012

From:BBC Music

Fonseca is one of the most exciting musicians in the new Cuban scene.
By: Robin Denselow

Roberto Fonseca has moved on, once again. The Cuban pianist first came to international attention when he achieved the seemingly impossible by successfully taking over from the late and brilliant Ruben Gonzalez in the Buena Vista Social Club, but he has gone on to prove that he is not just a dazzling accompanist but a bravely original composer and performer capable of a startling variety of styles.

His previous solo sets have shown him moving away from Buena Vista-style material to a more adventurous approach, mixing his Cuban roots with themes from around the world. The trend continues here: he mixes jazz with global influences, especially from Africa, and Yo is remarkable for its variety, its confidence, and its sheer energy.

Opener 80’s was written by Fonseca and is an upbeat party dance piece in which he switches between piano and organ. It sets a tone, with furious percussion that is matched by his equally high-energy, stomping keyboard work, eventually giving way to a more lyrical theme.

He is naturally fascinated by Cuba’s links with Africa, and the album continues his collaborations with African artists. His Akokan album of 2009 featured the Cape Verdean singer Mayra Andrade, but this time round his favoured female vocalist is new Malian star Fatoumata Diawara.

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