Monday, March 3, 2014

Richard Bona Munia The Tale Verve 2003

A textured wonder of cross-cultural influences...with a bitchin' bass line!
Brent Black /
As an independent writer I particularly enjoy the freedom to go back and occasionally share something out of my personal library with you. Munia is a tale of global influences harnessed with a contemporary funk fusion of flavor and organic intensity. The is indeed the land of rhythm and groove. While many know Richard and his long association on recordings with Pat Metheny and Mike Stern, his solo offerings are consistently diverse in presentation while never losing the groove. Bona is a master craftsman, the embodiment of an artist that is as adaptable as any on the more contemporary scene today.
A fusion rock riff that embraces jazz, funk and the Brazilian and doing so with a West Africa rhythmic structure that is the epitome of what the term organic should mean to most critics. Some special guests drop by to enhance this Afrobeat gumbo including Kenny Garrett and Brazilian guitar virtuoso Romero Lubambo. Bona is a master manipulator of his vocal approach while not shying away from sharing the spotlight with Salif Keita. While other bassists come at you with a foot to the floor mentality, Bona rides the groove without a hint of pretentiousness. From a cappella to a bright and breezy Brazilian vibe and back to the West African foundation that seems to tie up all the lose ends with a beautiful harmonic bow, Munia pops.