…That set the scene well for Bona, a bassist with a deft, delicate touch and wicked wit, and his four virtuosic bandmates – Etienne Stadwijk on keyboards, Tatum Greenblatt (trumpet), Ludwig Afonso (drums) and Eli Menezes (guitar).
The quintet proved to be the evening’s blessing in disguise. They were so cool and hung together so well that listening to them was like rolling about in a cloud. They were best on quiet numbers and, throughout most of their eight-song set, Bona chanted in Douala, a Cameroonian dialect. He got the audience to sing along with him, which it did with much delight.
But the band’s break-out turns were even better. Stadwijk, in particular, was a masterclass in refinement and restraint, notably during his solo turn on the song “Mut’esukudu,” from Bona’s 2013 album Bonafied. Stadwijk’s precise inflections and lush chord changes were light as a feather yet laden with longing. Trumpeter Greenblatt complemented all that very well with his super-tight parps and squiggles of sound…
– Cheong Suk-Wai