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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Richard Bona

By Derek Beres
Published March 16, 2007


Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona clearly borrowed influence from last year’s Toto Bona Lokua record, a collaboration with Congolese vocalist/guitarist Lokua Kanza and Martinique vocalist Gerald Toto, in creating Tiki. Bona has always had a penchant for harmonies to complement his extraordinary bass playing. Like his trio work, this fourth solo disc focuses on minimal instrumentation dancing with heartfelt melodies. His voice penetrates as deeply as the low-end; on the swinging “O Beta O Siba” and jazzy “Esoka Bulu” it takes lead. The background piano and horns add a classy feel, even when it spills into pop. For a man whose resume proves among the most luminous in the bass world, this sonic diary is a testament to the focus of one of his genre’s best. From the opening song, ­an upbeat number featuring vocalist Susheela Raman, to the closing acoustic lullaby “Nu Sango,” you’ll never find reason not to be entranced.