Badiche-Zeitung: “Richard Bona’s Great Performance at the Voices Festival”

(Translated from the original German)

Jazzy with one shot soul and rhythm and blues, sometimes edgy, rarely rough, often velvety supple pearls Richard Bona musical language. It is a personal World Fusion in far tortuous line between Brooklyn, Long Iceland and Douala, West Africa, but above all it is always exciting in a good mood. On Friday, the bassist, vocalist and born entertainer initiated this year Wenkenpark concerts a while tuning Festival. He should have probably brought the golden deer at the park entrance to the toe-tapping. Tearing his audience out of their seats seems the man with the tamed dreadlocks essential for salvation and please, also local indigenous people and “Swiss-People” are indeed manage well, sing a few African syllables. When the first signs of the large choir then still are not satisfactory, the current election-New Yorker born in Cameroon in 1967, draws with halbgespieltem horror short in the depths of the stage back, but this of course only to the same jump out again and to give once again a grin use to the next track. Of course, he does not give up. That the man bass and therefore does not play the first choice of solo instruments, incidentally, does not hinder him in the least, to give center stage. For this he breathed his five-string nearly a independent life, can apparently from him and tear over lofty boundaries. Some fast-paced run and the end of the fingerboard can hardly stop there. Vocally he joins in. The four companions are well chosen, especially guitarist Adam Stoler, which more than once fanciful virtuoso Jimi Hendrix seems to touch the strings, and Tatum Greenblatt, whose trumpet replaced a whole horn section. With Bona’s bass can be here and there a glorious musical duel fight, the groove does not diminish. The whole group has, as it should be, a large number of grandmasters in the biographical baggage, Bona itself was already with Manu Dibango, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock or Mike Stern on stage as well as the favorite “votes” -Guest Bobby McFerrin. Written the singer / songwriter has his songs in a language that he saved over the ocean, in Douala. “The people playing the music the way they speak,” Bona said once. And while he almost casually engages the strings, no electronic processing, in addition to the song here and there but appends small ornamental notes, he remembers no coincidence at Jaco Pastorius’ handed down commitment, he proposed and pluck the bass as if he with the voice games. On his way, the man from Cameroon and reported Pastorius disciples which follows, which with him always a floating lightness is paramount. “M’Bemba Mama” takes the in Riehen softly, but even more “Diba La Bobe”, in which it holds hardly anyone in the square.

– Annette Mahro