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Album Review

Richard Bona was born in a little village in West Africa. His mother was a singer and his grandfather was both a singer and musician. Those talents were passed down naturally. By the time Bona was of school age, he spent plenty of hours performing at church. At home, his hunger for the world of music found him making his own flutes, drums, and even a decent guitar. As a teenager he moved to a large city where he soon found a way to get his fill of jazz and the chance to play real instruments and learn to read and write music. On this 2001 album, Reverence, his second full-length recording, all of those years of surrounding himself with music shine through. Even though the lyrics aren't in English, fans from the United States seem to enjoy the album. Bona's songs on Reverence are jazz, but done in a world style, with the flavor of his homeland proudly holding a large spot. The numbers on this recording carry styles of fusion and American jazz, but also offer African pop, Latin, jazz-rock, and even some orchestral arrangements.


Born: 28 October 1967 in Minta, East Cameroon

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Jazz bassist Richard Bona was born and raised in the West African nation of Cameroon, going on to session dates with Joe Zawinul, Regina Carter, and Bob James as well as a two-year stint as musical director for the great Harry Belafonte. He made his debut as a headliner in 1999 with Scenes from My Life, and two years later Reverence came out. In 2003, Bona made his Verve debut with Munia: The Tale, which explored the territories of rock and jazz while keeping his West African influences, and 2005's...
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Reverence, Richard Bona
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