Vintage swing meets vintage Cuba with a snap of modern for a refreshing upbeat Cuban sound, in this Cd, ABUC Roberto Fonseca. Music sets our moods, identifies our ethnic self, and opens our minds. Explore your Latin side and enjoy the sound, it will have you off your seat and dancing in seconds.
“Fonseca… has a delivered a deeply felt, carefully constructed and timelessly hip record, meant to be heard straight through.” –Billboard
**** ½ “…this album is an extension of an artistic mission to transcend tradition and genre while still making connections that illustrate the rich stew that is Cuba’s musical heritage.” – Downbeat
“A raucous, dizzying journey back and forth through Fonseca’s Afro-Cuban musical heritage. An ambitious and convincing offering from the young maestro.” –Songlines
Grammy award nominated Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca, formerly of Buena Vista Social Club™ and current bandleader for legendary singer Omara Portuondo, teams up with the gems of the Latin-diaspora jazz world on his eighth studio album ABUC. Available now digitally on Impulse! / Verve and the physical album to be released on December 9th, this new album features guests artists such as Trombone Shorty, Eliades Ochoa, Rafael Lay, and Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal.
ABUC is the highly anticipated follow up to Yo, his 2012 recording that scored a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album. Aided by more than thirty highly talented players, Fonseca infuses this new album with styles that are sometimes traditional, sometimes contemporary, but always distinctively Cuban.
“The idea was to show a different Cuba, perhaps from a different direction” says Fonseca. “That’s why the album title is Cuba spelled backward. I wanted to review the Cuban music history – not only the styles that have influenced me most, but in a broader sense, so people could have a better idea of how the orchestras used to sound in those times.”
The album opens and closes with the same theme, orchestrated as an overture and then transformed into a simple piano piece as the epilogue: Cubano Chant, a composition by American jazz pianist Ray Bryant (1931-2011). Fonseca says, “He dedicated this very beautiful tune to Cuban song, so I wanted to express my gratitude to him by beginning the album with that tune. American jazz, but re-created with the soul of the guaracha,” says Roberto. “The union between jazz and our music in Cuba is very significant with regard to the history of music in general.” In inviting trombone player Trombone Shorty to play on this title, he wanted, he says, “to show everything that binds Cuba to New Orleans.”
Many remarkable guests add their personal colors to this album including vocalists Daymé Arocena, Carlos Calunga, Rafael Lay and Roberto Espinosa Rodríguez from the Orquesta Aragón, trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal, and the famous guajiro singer from the province of Santiago de Cuba, Eliades Ochoa. “Three singers are my heroes, apart from my mother,” says Roberto, “Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Eliades Ochoa, who I was fortunate to work with on the title Tumbao de la Unidad”.
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