Album: Robert Fonseca, Akokan, (Enja)

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The Independent Culture

As with its predecessor, Zamazu, pianist Fonseca tries to pour a gallon of music into a pint of CD, making you wish he'd just do one thing really well.

Of course, being Cuban, he does do several things well, and Akokan (Yoruban for heart) is three-quarters excellent – from post-Coltrane heavy rolling to lullaby-like prettiness and even to – on "Drume Negrita" – soulful Cuban ballads. Recorded at Havana's Egrem studio with his own band, even the guest vocalists – Mayra Andrade and Raul Midon – sound good.