Roberto Fonseca – Afro Mambo


ABUC is the highly anticipated follow up to Yo, Roberto Fonseca’s 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.

Born in 1975 in Havana, Cuba, Roberto Fonseca has established himself over the last decade and a half as one of the most gifted — and most popular — pianists of his generation. After making his name with Ibrahim Ferrer in the legendary Buena Vista Social Club, and after his recent Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album, Roberto Fonseca has come to incarnate the meeting between jazz and the music of Cuba, both of today and yesterday, and also its African roots. The new album ABUC was released on November 11 and it features pianist-percussionist Roberto Fonseca accompanied by Trombone Shorty, Eliades Ochoa, Zé Luis Nascimento, Rafael Lay (Orquesta Aragón) and Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal, among many others.

ABUC, already released on Impulse! Records on November 11, 2016, is just what the title suggests – a look backward at the evolution of Cuban jazz. Although nearly all 14 of the tracks on the album were written or co-written by Fonseca, the project as a whole overall feels like a retrospective of various musical styles and sources spanning several decades.

“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.”


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