Richard Bona

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Brad Johnson, Jul 25, 2001.

  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Just read about this on TBL. The Stockholm Jazz Festival is on the web with streaming video. If you haven't heard Richard this is a good opportunity.

    click on "Webb-tv"
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    thanks for the heads up. richard bona, the brecker brothers and the zawinul syndicate.....whew! im in for a long time in front of the computer screen.
  3. bassdays


    Jul 30, 2001
    thanks for this heads up, bona is great

  4. BassistJ


    Mar 20, 2001
    Hemet, CA USA
    Holy damn, the RB band funks HARD! And damn can Rich sing! Now if only I could understand whatever language he sings in. :D
  5. for all us UK bassists i would like to point out Richard Bona's set from last nights Later with Jools Holland.

    it was a truely inspiration chordal piece of music from the guy, using a capo at 7th , if i remember, composing around 14 and 15th.

    half way through the Jaco influence shone through, some very neat little licks and tricks.

    i certainly have to buy his solo album,

    now, wheres that schubb?? :)

    if you didn't catch it , make sure you watch the repeat on sunday night!

  6. Bona on Jools...????

    How 'bout Bona LIVE..IN MY CITY!!!

    Honestly I'm not into jazz, but with this Jazz Festival being held in Granada I'd figured let's just go to a jazz concert to see some serious basswork and listen to something different.

    Me the ignorant that I am almost missed out on the concert, 'coz me did not knew he bass player:rolleyes:

    But I did get a ticket on time and looked for info on the Net. Influenced mainly by Jaco...OK that's a good start... the few critics' reviews I could see were raving about him...aaaah let's just see this.

    So I get there (Isabel La Católica Theater). First piece just Richard, his fretless five-string and keyboard. Mellow. Cool. Bona was very gentle on the bass playing more with feel. Then the rest of the band comes out and they all play their hearts out. Great musicians...all of them (of course it's jazz) shined on their solo parts. Bona's bass got somewhat lost in the mix but his bassparts were cool... not flashy but appropriate for the composition being played... AND he was singing with such a melodic another instrument. Oh he did a bass solo in the process which was more than nice...

    But then came the Jaco version (Liber...something dunno me stoopid) O...K...Now he really showed off on a fretless four. He was getting all these sounds like...violin? whistle? some hawaiian thing? The dude was smokin'...some fast licks...then slow sliding all over the place...some chords (not arpeggios, duh!) ...the arsenal. I'm like...holy %&$!!! The fretless can sound like THAT???? D___!My eyes and ears now REALLY open up.

    Let's just say I was pleased to have seen the show. I actually enjoyed it very much. Not just the music, but Richard was so funny. He'd have the crowd sing along... he was mentioning the city's name "Granada" like every now and then and then he'd start singing in his native tongue and sticking in "Granada" in the wording... when introducing the musicians he'd say at the end..."and I am... B.B. King"...I mean just stuff to keep the fun goin'...

    I'm not going to become some jazzy freak anytime soon, but I realize that indeed going to a jazz concert is worth the money (actually LESS THAN TEN US DOLLARS...WHOA) and that just being aware there are people who take bass to other dimensions is key to be conscious where you can go with the pop or rock? Sure why not!

    Richard Bona seems to be the kind of guy who will play some serious bass licks but does not get exceedingly flashy all the time. Just doing his job well.

    Sorry if I'm not eloquent enough or my message is a mess...but I'm kinda excited 'coz the concert ended just two hours ago and I'm psyched at the fact that I actually had the initiative to see a jazz band and that it turned out to be one heck of a performance.

    I hope it's not the last jazz experience...
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I did see this - just got in in time after seeing a great Jazz gig which had a really good bass player as well!!

    I thought this piece was very "nice" and some great playing/singing.

    I did buy his last solo album - but my advice would be - don't!! ;)

    It's all very "nice" and this sort of cloys after a while - it's like "Middle of the Road" African style - there are one or two good tracks, but if you want to hear his bass playing there are much better albums around.

    My personal favourite is "Spaces Revisited" - where he plays in a quartet with Larry Coryell and Birelli Lagrene on guitars and Billy Cobham on drums - great stuff!!
  8. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Hey I saw him in Madrid a couple of days before (on Thursday). Great Stuff!! I had already heard his music. Some of those bass riffs are not that easy to play at all because he uses a lot of muted rhythmic patterns.

    They place him under the Jazz categorie because they have to put him somewhere, but his music is not really Jazz at all. Oh well, Saludos
  9. i was round my g/f's, and my sis foned up and said "that bassist u like is on jools holland"
    i thought, well, i like many bassists, but i flicked over anyway, my jaw dropped wen i saw mr bona, he'd just finished, so i was a little pissed off.....but, i caught the repeat.....and recorded it :)

    i got his new CD 'Reverence' about 2weeks ago, and although it doesn't show of his bass skills a lot, its still a kick ass album (if u like that sorta thing)

    i'd list him as my main influence, i love playing chordal stuff, but wen it comes down to it, he can play low and in the groove with the best of em

    just my 2 pennies :)

  10. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I actually came onto TalkBass today to start a thread about this! I'm not into "world music", but I did enjoy this performance and ordered 'Reverance' immediately. I was most impressed with the great reaction that he got from the audience. It was great to see some "solo bass" on the TV, but I think that this is because Bona is marketed more as a "world-music artist" and singer/composer, rather than a jazz musician/bass player.

    Bruce, thanks for the recommendation: I'll have to add 'Spaces Revisited' to my Christmas shopping list!

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah I bought "Reverence" on the good reviews in the UK press and on the basis of his playing I had heard on other albums; but I was very disappointed by it - I don't find it satisfying in the "World Music" category - too bland really and there is not enough bass playing to listen to it for bass ideas.

    There are no solo bass/vocal pieces on the CD - he plays a lot of guitar - and I prefer his bass playing on the other albums I have.
  12. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Doh! I bought the album in the hope of more solo bass/vocals pieces like this! I ordered it from Amazon but haven't received it yet - I wonder what their policy on returns is? ;) I could always give it to my Dad, who loves his North African music (Khaled, Cheb Mami, etc) - he'd probably like it.

    Bruce, any recommendations for Bona's bass playing other than 'Spaces Revisited'? I'm going to get the Zawinul Syndicate's 'World Tour' CD, though I know that Bona's only on a couple of tracks.

    There is a documentary film about the Zawinul Syndicate available on video from Joe Zawinul's official website. I think there might be a Bona solo bass showcase on this, judging from the preview video that you can watch on the site. I may ask for this for Christmas, depending on what I think of 'World Tour'

  13. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    You can find Richard playing on Mike Stern's latest Voices . He's also the newest member of Pat Metheny's group, but as a percussionist/singer, not a bassist!

    Not only is Richard a phenomenal bass player, he's a beautiful cat as well. I got a chance to hang out with him in Germany and Paris with Larry Coryell's Eleventh House reunion band (Alphonse Mouzon and Randy Brecker too!). He's from Cameroon originally, and tells some great stories about growing up there. His first "real" instrument was the guitar, but he was playing in a club when the club owner put on a tape of Jaco, and right then and there he decided he had to play like that. I'd say he's been quite successful!
  14. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Well, I've put my order for 'Reverance' on hold for now. I usually listen to sound clips of albums at CDnow or Amazon before buying, but here at university, I don't have access to a machine with speakers. I'm going home this weekend, so will check out some clips at home and then make up my mind whether to get it or not.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I saw more of Richard Bona on TV last night on BBC Knowledge - they had a 90 minute programme of highlights from the London Jazz Festival, introduced by Courtney Pine. They are having another 90 minutes next Thursday.

    So this time it was Richard fronting a full live band and I was much more impressed than I was with the CD. It seemed much more lively and the bass was up front and integral. I suppose I liked it better because it was more Jazz - more improvised.

    Richard played muted funky grooves and sang at the same time. I think in a band he improves with interaction and bouncing ideas of others, while the CD seems to be very much a solo project where he writes/arranges everything.

    It was a very good programme - set from Wayne Shorter's acoustic quartet as well!!
  16. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Thanks for mentioning this Bruce. I caught the repeat on Sunday evening and recorded it. I really enjoyed Bona's performance - some very funky playing, all done with absolutely no effort of course! :)

    I also really enjoyed Dennis Rollins' band that was on before Bona. That's just the sort of band that I would love to be in!
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I liked it all ! Another programme tonight which promises to feature the Jazz Jamaica All Stars. I saw them on Saturday in Brighton and they were fantastic - wonderful sound and a mix of real Ska and Jazz !

    Got to talk to Gary Crosby (bass) and Alex Wilson (piano) afterwards - Alex said he will write a song for the band I'm in, early in the new year and do another workshop for us!
  18. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Just curious Bruce, when the sort of bands/artists I've mentioned above play live, do people sit and "listen" to the music, or is dancing encouraged (or even allowed)? How big are typical audience sizes?
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Jazz Jamaica are BIG and their UK tour was to big audiences - in Brighton it was 2 - 3 thousand and lots of people were dancing.

    I have also seen Courtney Pine playing at large festivals and with big audiences. But that's about where it stops - most UK Jazz acts play in small clubs with all-seated audiences. If there's a dance-genre crossover, you can usually get big audiences but an acoustic Jazz group is for afficianados - these gigs can be well-paid - the clubs in London, for example, where it goes on till 3.00am in the morning and it is more like a restaurant, upmarket cafe with Jazz.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    For anyone who hasn't seen it... check this out.

    Live Bona