Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Roberto Fonseca: Yo

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Yo is both a wry and accurate title, for keyboardist Roberto Fonseca has melded a scintillating and deeply affecting collection of Afro-Cuban jazz, folk and idiomatic street rhythms that warrants your attention. He goes headhunting for vintage Herbie Hancock grooves on “80’s,” covers Malian griot Baba Sissoko’s “Bibisa” with the thrilling African thrush Fatoumata Diawara, teams with spoken-word artist Mike Ladd on the inspirational “Mi Negra Ave Maria,” and explores the music and mystical Cuban culture of Santeria healing protection on “7 Rayos.” That’s just the first four songs. Don’t miss Fonseca’s acoustic piano testimony on the bittersweet, goose-bumping blues ballad “Asi Es La Vida,” the midtempo Moroccan tune “Gnawa Stop,” or the mating of quiet storm and house musics on “Rachel.” Texturally, this is by turns dusty, gritty, loamy material, but it’s always well grounded in the essentials of the Afro-Cuban experience.

Originally Published