Reginald Policard and Richard Bona : Encuentro Theme Review
Encuentro Theme: The Harmonious Dance of Two Worlds in Policard & Bona’s World Odyssey
Ah, the intoxicating aroma of cultural confluence! Picture this: You’re navigating through the labyrinthine streets of a city that’s both old-world romantic and cosmopolitan—a musical cityscape, if you will. Every turn introduces you to a new melody, and each twist reveals a distinct rhythm. Now, imagine all of these sounds converging into a harmonious world music song, alive and pulsating. Welcome to “Encuentro Theme,” the latest gem from Haitian jazz pianist Reginald Policard and Cameroonian multi-instrumentalist Richard Bona.
Reginald Policard is no newcomer to the jazz scene. Introduced to the piano at the tender age of 10, he’s a seasoned artist with a repertoire that’s as vast as it is varied. Remember the legendary Caribbean Sextet? He was their band leader and co-founder. His collaborations read like a who’s who of the jazz world—from Chick Corea to Carlos Jobim, his influences are titanic pillars of the genre. Then we have Richard Bona, a Grammy-Award-Winning sensation, whose virtuosity on bass and vocal cords is the stuff of legends. Put these two together, and what do you get? A record label aptly named Encuentro—The Meeting. Because “Encuentro Theme” isn’t just an single; it’s an encounter.
As you press play, you’re immediately greeted by a sensual percussion that’s as welcoming as a warm, salty breeze on a Caribbean beach. The slinky bassline? That’s Richard Bona, whispering sweet nothings into your ear. Hold on to that piña colada, though, because you’re about to be swept off your feet.
Let’s dissect “Encuentro Theme,” shall we? This song is a musical mural featuring some of the best talents in the industry. Policard’s piano—a virtuoso blending of salsa’s vivacity and jazz’s finesse—commands your attention like a seasoned orator. The horn writing? Exquisite. It’s like a dash of cayenne pepper that’s there just when you need it—neither too overwhelming nor too subtle. And then there’s Bona’s wordless vocals, floating like a ghostly presence over the rhythmic canvas painted by the percussion and drums.
The standout moment? It has to be Policard’s piano solo. It’s as if he’s communicating in a secret language that you understand but can’t articulate. You feel it in your bones, don’t you? Like the kiss of a loved one or the final chord of a song that you wish would never end.
Crafted in the cauldron of cultural influences, Caribbean, African, and good old smooth jazz, “Encuentro Theme” is a building of sounds that only masters like Policard and Bona could create. Policard’s mastery of composition and orchestration is not just technique; it’s a dialogue. It’s a lifeline that connects him to every other musician on this project and, by extension, to you, the listener.
“Encuentro Theme” is a relaxed world music journey—a voyage through musical landscapes as diverse as the Amazon rainforest and as intimate as your grandmother’s kitchen. It’s a reflection of Policard’s rich history, while also offering an exciting glimpse into the future of World Jazz. Policard and Bona narrate a story deeply rooted in their own cultural backgrounds, yet as universal as love, loss, and—of course—encounters.
So, will “Encuentro Theme” resonate with you? Will it capture a piece of your soul and nestle there, a cherished echo that you’ll carry with you? Only one way to find out: give it a listen. Better yet, give it many. After all, some encounters are worth revisiting. Wouldn’t you agree?
Reginald Policard & Richard Bona
June 2, 2023