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Richard Bona - Munia (The Tale)

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Munia (The Tale)

Richard Bona

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Yet another of Harry Belafonte's protégés who later made a big name for himself, Cameroon's Richard Bona takes time out from his ace session bass life to make another remarkably versatile, impeccably polished solo album, Munia: The Tale, his first on Verve. While Bona allows rock, jazz, funk, and Brazilian influences through the window, the melodies and rhythmic patterns are still strongly rooted in West Africa, always permeating the atmosphere. On some of the tracks, Bona needs no help at all to make an impression, layering on his vocals over his bass, guitars, keyboards, and percussion in an exquisitely controlled one-man show. He often does so with the subtle shading and dabs of color of a pianter, like the gentle Moog lines that seep into the background of "Dina Lam." Indeed, "Munia" opens with a cleverly titled a cappella incantation "Bonatology" -- featuring no other voices than those of Bona. And when he gets one of those revolving Afrobeat grooves going -- with irresistible results on "Couscous" -- you wish the track would never end. Yet Bona also doesn't mind playing a supporting role, laying back on bass as Miles Davis alumnus Kenny Garrett offers up some soulful soprano sax on the now-contemplative, now-complex Miles tribute "Painting a Wish." Salif Keita adds his impassioned, keening vocals to "Kalabancoro," and Romero Lubambo's acoustic guitar gives "Bona Petit" (another self-referential title) a lot of its Brazilian flavor. Bona the virtuoso doesn't try to dazzle you with his technique; instead, he seduces you with his music's glossy finish and peacefully insistent rhythms.
© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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Munia (The Tale)

Richard Bona

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1
Bonatology Album Version
Various Interprets
00:01:42

Richard Bona, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

2
Kalabancoro Album Version
Various Interprets
00:04:06

Valérie Belinga, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Sarr, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Salif Keita, Author, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nathaniel Townsley III, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Coco M'Bassi, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Diely Moussa Conde, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Georges Whitty, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - A.T.N, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Ba Bailo, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

3
Sona Mama Album Version
Various Interprets
00:04:32

Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - A.T.N, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

4
Painting A Wish Instrumental
Various Interprets
00:05:51

KENNY GARRETT, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Bona, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - George Colligan, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Vinnie Colauita, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

5
Engingilaye Album Version
Various Interprets
00:04:45

Andrew Lippman, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Valérie Belinga, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Sarr, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Gilmar Gomes, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Aaron Heick, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Vinnie Colauita, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Todd Horton, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Coco M'Bassi, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - A.T.N, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

6
Dina Lam Album Version
Various Interprets
00:05:29

Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - A.T.N, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

7
Balemba Na Bwemba Album Version
Various Interprets
00:05:03

Valérie Belinga, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Julia Sarr, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Young, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Todd Horton, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Nathaniel Townsley III, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Coco M'Bassi, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

8
Muto Bye Bye Album Version
Various Interprets
00:06:03

Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - George Colligan, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Vinnie Colauita, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

9
Bona Petit Album Version
Various Interprets
00:04:50

Romero Lubambo, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Gilmar Gomes, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Bona, Composer, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - George Whitty, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Charlotte Balibar, Author

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

10
Couscous Album Version
Various Interprets
00:03:29

Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

11
Playground Album Version
Various Interprets
00:06:31

Richard Bona, Interprète Instrumental, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Vinnie Colauita, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - A.T.N, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Agnès Kervarec, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Magali Kervarec, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Yanis Ngando Mpondo, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Karl Ngando Mpondo, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Caresse Bollanga, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer - Fred-Yves Bollanga, Interprète Vocal, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Decca Records France

Album Description

Yet another of Harry Belafonte's protégés who later made a big name for himself, Cameroon's Richard Bona takes time out from his ace session bass life to make another remarkably versatile, impeccably polished solo album, Munia: The Tale, his first on Verve. While Bona allows rock, jazz, funk, and Brazilian influences through the window, the melodies and rhythmic patterns are still strongly rooted in West Africa, always permeating the atmosphere. On some of the tracks, Bona needs no help at all to make an impression, layering on his vocals over his bass, guitars, keyboards, and percussion in an exquisitely controlled one-man show. He often does so with the subtle shading and dabs of color of a pianter, like the gentle Moog lines that seep into the background of "Dina Lam." Indeed, "Munia" opens with a cleverly titled a cappella incantation "Bonatology" -- featuring no other voices than those of Bona. And when he gets one of those revolving Afrobeat grooves going -- with irresistible results on "Couscous" -- you wish the track would never end. Yet Bona also doesn't mind playing a supporting role, laying back on bass as Miles Davis alumnus Kenny Garrett offers up some soulful soprano sax on the now-contemplative, now-complex Miles tribute "Painting a Wish." Salif Keita adds his impassioned, keening vocals to "Kalabancoro," and Romero Lubambo's acoustic guitar gives "Bona Petit" (another self-referential title) a lot of its Brazilian flavor. Bona the virtuoso doesn't try to dazzle you with his technique; instead, he seduces you with his music's glossy finish and peacefully insistent rhythms.
© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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